Tag Archives: teenagers

You Get What You Get: Helping Our Teens (and Ourselves) Take The High Road



You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

We teach this jingle to preschoolers to eliminate envy or any suspicions of favoritism.   A blue Popsicle/crayon/Lego/paper triangle is just as good as a yellow one.  It takes practice and reminders, but eventually this little lesson sinks in and makes life easier for kids and the adults in their lives.

By the teenage years, kids don’t care so much about their Popsicle color, but they do care about circumstances that they think could thwart their success and happiness. And parents care, too.

Sometimes, you get what you get and you don’t get upset seems hard to swallow.

Like when they get the teacher who clearly is more interested in retiring than teaching. Or when the coach is unreasonably critical and short on praise.  Or when they find themselves always sitting on the bench rather than on the field or the ice.  Maybe they never made the team at all.

But I’ve come to realize that no matter what disappointing situation a person finds himself in, if he reacts in mature ways rather than quitting or begrudging others, he can move on and thrive.

I wasn’t always so level-headed about this.

I remember cringing (or was it seething?) when my freshman casually reported that every day, one or two students in her math class would be kicked out of class for talking.  Her seasoned teacher would point to the door and bellow “Get out!” – even if the student was asking to borrow a pencil.  This practice would inevitably make everyone chuckle, even the teacher himself.

That year I lost a lot of sleep wondering how my daughter would learn those important math concepts that weren’t coming easily to her.  I also worried she wouldn’t take school seriously if she continued to be placed in classes reminiscent of Welcome Back Kotter and the sweat hogs..

She recovered.

The next year, her math teacher took the time to review concepts before moving on to a different kind of math. It was a very productive year. Is my child a math whiz now?  No.  Math may never be her area of strength.  But one “off year” (or should I say “off teacher”?) did not ruin her.  In fact, it was good preparation for the real world.

Adults have to deal with challenging people and situations every day.  They may have difficult co-workers or bosses. They may not get the job or the pay raise they hoped for.  Perhaps they didn’t receive credit for a project they worked hard on.  They may have long hours of commuting that take time away from their families.  Maybe they’re laid off.

You get what you get and you don’t get upset. But you can switch gears.

You can stay for extra help.

You can get a tutor.

You can practice more.

You can try something different or new.

You can look for options and make a plan.

You can refuse to quit or point fingers or whine.

You can count all the blessings in your life and focus on the good stuff.

You can be happy for those who succeed and learn to be compassionate toward others who are struggling, because everyone will, sooner or later.

Who’s The Adult Here Anyways?


My daughter didn’t sign us up for parent orientation at her college. It was happening simultaneously with freshman orientation. For a very small fee, parents could stay in dorms on campus, eat meals in the dining hall and attend informational sessions for a day and a half.

Maybe it was an oversight. Maybe my daughter decided optional meant my husband and I wouldn’t be interested. Most likely, she wanted to spread her wings and drive the 2-1/2 hours solo to freshman orientation. She has always been comfortable doing things that even now, I need reassurance doing. When I was 18, I remember heading to my own freshman orientation with a little knot in my stomach — and it wasn’t even an overnight event.

I’ve come a long way since my college days, but on certain occasions I’m hit with the realization that I truly am an introvert. I was determined to get a spot at this highly informative parent orientation even though I knew my husband couldn’t join me. But what I neglected to consider was that this experience might be a day and a half of feeling like my 18-year old Nervous Nelly self. 

The goal of arriving on campus and being separated immediately from your freshman was to give parents a taste of what it will be like, come August, when we say our good-byes. A session on letting go explained this: Give your child a kiss, say good-bye and be on your way. It helps your freshman get on with things.

It doesn’t necessarily help the solo mother who expected to meet up with her daughter at some point and is assigned to spend the night with two strangers. Thank goodness for upperclassman suites. Each of us could enjoy the privacy of our own bedrooms.

I arrived first, followed by my first roommate. Hi! I say with my warmest smile. Are you on your own, too? Yes, she says pleasantly, then drops her belongings in her room and heads out to meet up with other moms from her home town, I discover later.

Roommate #2 finally arrives while I’m unpacking my few belongings. She disappears into her room so I decide to wait for her in the living room, reading the only piece of literature I have – the parent orientation agenda — until I have it memorized. Is she taking a nap? She finally emerges from her room, cheerful and receptive to me. We chat about our kids and our families. I have a friend. Yes!

We join a large group of parents for a tour of the campus, but halfway through it my roommate tells me she has a raging headache and will return to the room. I follow along with the other parents, straining to listen to the various types of dorms. At the campus bookstore I purchase a college sweatshirt for myself. Another mom from our town calls to me in the crowd. We’re 2-1/2 hours away from home, not 2-1/2 states away, but I’m thrilled to see a familiar face. She’s alone too but spending the night at a local hotel. She’s my new buddy for the tour and for lunch in the cavernous dining hall.

In the late afternoon, my hometown friend says she’s had enough of the sessions and will head back to her hotel to read and maybe sit by the pool. I’m disappointed and tempted to blow off the day and go with her but I head back to my room with no pool and no TV. As I ponder why I am not thoroughly enjoying this peace and quiet that all busy moms dream about, my roommate pokes her head into my room. She’s feeling better. Would I like to join her for the session about academic advising? Absolutely!

We learn about tutoring as well as all about choosing a major for about 30 minutes when she whispers to me she feels sick to her stomach. (She has shingles and this is her medication’s side effect). Good-bye, roomie.

Dinner is next. At the dining hall I make my way to a table with a tray full of enticing ravioli, salad and garlic bread. I pretend not to care that I know no one sitting around me. I scan the room in a mild panic, convinced I am the only parent without a partner. I check my almost dead cell phone for messages from my daughter. Not one. Are people staring at me with pity or is it my imagination? I quickly shovel food in my mouth so I can get out of the place. I should have skipped orientation. People next to me are laughing about something, completely at ease.

My cell phone dies and the only charger is in my car. I drive to the little college town a few miles away to give my cell phone time to charge. I purchase a magazine to read in the suite. A special parent event is scheduled to take place in the gathering area. We are invited to make posters to cheer on (or perhaps embarrass) our kids the next day as they parade through the campus one last time, to the dining hall. Yes, this is silly, as is the DVD of Saturday Night Fever chosen for any interested parents to sit and watch on the comfortable lounge furniture. But I realize I’m not alone in feeling awkward. Others don’t know what to write on their posters. We end up chatting about the college and how much we miss our kids even though it hasn’t even been a full day since we separated from them. The day ends on a happy note.

After checking out the next morning, I head to breakfast and bump into some of the poster-making moms. I reach out to invite another mom from our floor to join us, and she is visibly relieved. My hometown friend finds us as well. Life is good. More sessions take place and then the parade. My daughter and I easily spot each other. She is smiling happily in the middle of the pack, then laughs out loud at my poster which sports one of her childhood nicknames in big bold colors.

On our ride home, she shares all the bonding activities of the past two days. She’s looking forward to August when she’ll see some of these people again. How was your time? she asks me. She’s loving everything about her new school, I can tell, and I don’t want to spoil it for her. I learned quite a bit, I say. My daughter may be an extrovert but she, too, will be wandering a campus full of strangers in September. It may be uncomfortable for her at times, at least initially. This is all part of life.  It continues for some of us, even in our forties.

At a recent graduation party, I spotted my daughter inviting a quieter, second cousin to join her at a table full of teenagers. (It’s what I needed in that dining hall).  I couldn’t be prouder of her.

De-Cluttering To Save Our Sanity



I never thought I’d be excited about a dumpster.

We were having some renovations done to the house recently, so it made sense to have one.  Rotting window frames went in.  Warped shingles went in. Then old, rusty lawn chairs and faded table umbrellas, followed by a recliner we’ve had for 20+ years, thank god. Suddenly, I didn’t recognize our basement because the majority of it was thrown into the dumpster.  In just a matter of days, the ugly metal monstrosity sitting in our driveway had restored some order to our home.

The dumpster is gone but now it’s time to tackle another form of excess – clothing.

I try to teach my kids the difference between wanting and needing things, but then I find myself meandering through the racks at Kohl’s, tempted to purchase a cute dress I don’t need.  Living simply, however admirable, is hard to do, and particularly hard for teenagers  who think that looking your best and following trends is a priority.  (I still don’t understand the boys wearing tall black socks).

I enjoy a bargain and I’m happy that I’ve passed this on to my girls.  But apparently I’ve passed it on too well.  We all have much more than we need.

You know you have a problem when your tween’s drawers and closet are bursting, yet she cannot put together a single outfit for an awards ceremony. Too much of anything is not good, even clothes.  Note to self:  Don’t offer to help a tween select an outfit one hour before an event – this is a battle a mother can’t win.  No matter what adorable getup I suggest, she will find it unacceptable:

tween:  That doesn’t fit any more.  Why is it in your drawer?

tween:  That has a stain on it.  It’s in your closet because?

tween:  I wear that too often.   Who is noticing how often you wear anything?

tween: That looks like something you would wear.   Excuse me?

tween:  That’s too hot/cold/itchy/ugly…  We need help.

It’s definitely time for my family to purge some clothing and to build up our shopping self-restraint muscles.  Here is some wisdom my family still needs to adopt:

Less is more.  Just as I felt sheer relief when I saw my basement cleared of  way too many objects, my daughter would be better off (or at least  not feel paralyzed) if she had a lot less of everything.   If we all had walk-in closets and could see every article of clothing we owned, it might be possible to wear a different outfit every day for a month or more.  There are no walk-ins here.  These days, if I look into my older daughter’s room and see laundry baskets, they could be filled with dirty clothes or they could be home to clean clothes that don’t fit in drawers and closets.  I  refuse to wash a basket full of laundry that smells like Tide detergent.  It’s time to weed out and make more space.

Remember the lay-away system.  If you were a kid in the ‘70s and ‘80s, your mom may have used the lay-away system of shopping.  If you didn’t have the funds to pay for items immediately, the lay-away system held the items so you could come back and purchase them when you had the cash.  It certainly was not fun to walk out of a store empty-handed but I now admire my mother’s determination to avoid debt.   The other perk to lay-away was that you thought more about your purchases. Today, with store credit perks, it’s so quick and easy to charge now and pay later.  But even if you pay off that credit card each month, there remains the issue of accumulating more clothes than are needed (and possibly ending up using laundry baskets for storage).

Donate clothes periodically to Good Will or to friends and family.  It feels good to recycle clothes.  It feels good to the giver and the receiver.  It frees up space.

Do what you love to do.   If you are totally engaged in what you’re doing – cooking, jogging, hanging out with friends, reading, cleaning – what you’re wearing matters less.  If you have the basics and a reasonable number of  fun items in your closet, why not save your money for really special purchases.  I try to remember this when a really good department store coupon arrives in the mail and my brain starts wondering how I can best use it.  What do I need?  Usually I need nothing — not even that cute little dress I had my eye on.

*  *  *

In a couple of months, my oldest child will leave for college where she will have very little space for her clothes. Right now is a perfect time for her to decide which clothes she truly needs and loves.  The rest can find a new home.  If  her little sister does the same, maybe she will get a few new (recycled) items from her sister.






* Photo:  gastonia-roll-off-dumpster-rentals.jpg

Reclaiming Patience — Can It Be Done?


If I could find a decorative sign with the saying Patience is a Virtue, I would hang it prominently in my home to remind us all that we can’t have everything we want when we want it, lest we become whiny, perpetually dissatisfied beasts.

Patience  (noun) 1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Ironically, I just returned home from dropping the minivan off to be fixed.  On the ride back to the house, kindly given by my teenager in our other car, she informs me that she and some friends will be using the car to go to Castle Island in South Boston today and that she has already discussed this with my husband.  My first thought was: I will be without a car on this gorgeous, sun-filled day.

Instead of thanking my teenager for getting out of bed and following me to the auto body shop, I felt instantly annoyed by this new information. Without thinking I snapped  at her that I would need her to help clean up around the house before she left.  In my impatience I blurted it out in a tone that sounded bitter and mean, kind of like Faye Dunaway in Mommy Dearest.  As a result I was treated to some eye rolling.  The whole exchange could have been pleasant if I had given myself time to think.  I really didn’t need the car.  I had things to do at home and going for a walk would be beneficial.  Patience is a Virtue.

Patience (noun)  2.  An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.

My family has a hard time waiting.  Each of us is currently waiting for some big events to arrive and we are guilty of getting restless:

  • Fifteen days left of high school for my daughter (and then the start of college a few months later).
  • Less than a month until my sophomore son takes his driver’s license test.
  • A seventh grade week-long trip to Washington, DC for my youngest child.  (She’s finally there this week after she thought it would never come).
  • An exterior painting makeover for our house, weather pending, any time now.  (Some may wonder if it’s an abandoned home, it looks so bad).
  • Spring weather!  It’s almost May and brief flurries are in tomorrow’s forecast.  Sigh.
  • Big events are hard to wait for but the waiting serves a purpose.  The waiting makes the event that much more delightful.  Christmas, Hanukah, big trips, graduations, marriages, the arrival of newborn babies, house renovations —  all require planning, preparation and yes, funding.  Surviving the wait is almost as joyous as the event itself.

On the other hand, there is a different kind of waiting or patience that is almost missing these days.  These days it’s easy to get what we want, when we want it, thanks to technology and the availability of services and conveniences.   I worry that the younger generation, including my own teenagers, is slowly forgetting how it feels to have to wait even a short amount of time for something.

Recently we picked up donuts to bring to my in-laws’ house.  Prior to going into Dunkin Donuts, one of my children made a request for bottled water. This certainly wasn’t a major request, or an expensive one, but I decided she could survive the ten minute ride to her grandparent’s house without water.  She disagreed wholeheartedly.  (She survived).

7079fe14-ac9e-4fc3-ae62-86b6f0bf8e36How many of us need a coffee to drive wherever we’re going?  How many of us prefer to grab a coffee on the go rather than wait for the coffeemaker to brew a pot?   When I was little, people drank their coffee before they left the house or waited until they reached their workplaces to have a cup.  Now people can’t wait.  They need to drive directly from home to the nearest drive-through.

When I was a teenager, it was a treat to get a manicure and a pedicure. We would wait to get one when we had a special occasion to attend.  It was a treat to eat out at a restaurant.  I didn’t know what eyebrow waxing was (and I certainly would have benefitted from this service).  Watching TV and going to the movies was a one-shot deal.  There were no videos and DVDs and On Demand.  We looked forward to seeing our favorite TV shows on their scheduled nights and we talked about them with our friends the next day.  Today, young girls are getting manicures and pedicures and all sorts of expensive hair treatments on a regular basis.  (Do teens have bad hair days anymore?)

I’m sure there are plenty of people who choose to eat at home and who don’t need fancy beauty treatments, clothes and gadgets.  In fact, most people know when they need to “tighten the belt” and when to turn off the TV or computer.   But I also know that we could all use a little more self-restraint and that requires patience.

Patience (noun) 3.  Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

There are some things that absolutely demand time and patience.  Earning a degree, writing a thesis paper, mastering a golf swing, learning a foreign language, saving for college or building up the strength and stamina to run a marathon – all necessitate patience.   We owe it to our children to emphasize the importance of sticking with a task patiently – to not give up no matter how boring, uncomfortable or challenging a task might be.

Today I was fortunate to be able to have lunch with my Godchild Elise.  At 13, Elise knows more about patience and perseverance than most kids her age and probably more than many adults.  Elise was born with an upper limb anomaly.  She is missing her left hand.  Most kids Elise’s age want nothing more than to be accepted by their peers. They dress alike, talk alike and form friendships based more on their similarities than their differences.

Elise has been navigating the same world as her peers but she has developed a different mindset. While the average 13 year old makes the most of her strengths and minimizes her weaknesses, Elise makes the most of her strengths and prevails over her weaknesses.   She’s a good student but admits that math is not as easy or enjoyable for her as science and reading. (She’s reading Pride and Prejudice for fun).  She has set a goal for herself:  To work extra hard at math since she’s hearing that high school math is significantly harder and she will need strong math skills to pursue a career in either neonatology, genetics or forensic pathology.

I have no doubt that Elise will succeed at challenging math.  This is a girl who learned at a very young age to focus on her abilities rather than her disabilities.   She learned how to dress herself and tie her shoes – no Velcro necessary. Her parents nudged her to give swimming a try.  She didn’t love it at first but stuck with it and now swims competitively.  She writes poetry, knits and does Pilates.  Many of the tasks that others take for granted require patience, practice and determination for Elise to master.  (She had to sit out when her gym class did chin ups on a bar).  She has no desire to be fitted with a prosthetic device simply because she has managed just fine without one.

Has all this been easy for her?  Not at all.  She has suffered through her share of girl drama.  (She now prefers to hang out with academically driven students).  She is accustomed to people staring at her anomaly.  But she wishes they would approach her with questions rather than remain silent.  In fact, she chose to talk to her mother’s fourth grade students about her missing hand – to demonstrate how efficiently she can do certain tasks.  To welcome their questions and eliminate any misconceptions they may have.  I have a feeling Elise’s future is very bright indeed.  She has the patience and determination to make it so.

That’s a wicked good teen.








Keep On Chugging (Don’t Get Derailed by Defeat)


The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi can teach us all kinds of lessons.

It’s hard to comprehend that some very capable athletes will fall down, fall behind, and fall out of the running for a medal.  Maybe it’s nerves.  Or Mother Nature wreaking havoc on the slopes. Or the team’s choice of inferior performance clothing.  Maybe it’s something completely out of their control. Or maybe it comes down to the harsh reality that someone else is faster, stronger or more skilled.

If Olympic athletes, who possess exceptionally high standards for training and reaching their goals, must face setbacks and failures, then maybe it’s worth noting how they deal with it.   Teenagers, who are trying to fit in, discover their strengths, and not embarrass themselves while doing so, may benefit the most from knowing that Olympic athletes and professionals must pick themselves up and deal with setbacks.

Here are a few similarities between Sochi and life:

Not everyone who works their hardest will make the team.

The U.S. Women’s hockey coach had the difficult job of telling three highly  qualified players that they wouldn’t be making the trip to Sochi with the  team.  (The spaces were all filled).   In high school, not making a sports team is always a painful reality. There are only so many spots on a team, even taking into account substitutes.  (In high school, if no cuts are made, the result is inevitably reduced playing time or no playing time for some players).

No matter how well prepared you might  be, you can’t control the weather, a brewing  infection or individuals who  inadvertently trip you up).

It’s true that everyone is competing under the exact same outdoor conditions, but when the weather changes from hour to hour, affecting visibility and surface conditions, succeeding at skiing and snowboarding comes down to quickly adapting to variations in conditions, especially if those conditions are vastly different from the ones where training took place.  (This is similar to being knowledgeable enough to make a presentation even when the PowerPoint projector won’t turn on).

Cross-country skier Gary di Silvestri (representing the island of Dominica) contracted a bacterial infection from contaminated water in his temporary apartment. di Silvestri became so weak from the infection, he couldn’t finish his race.  Even sports reporter Bob Costas couldn’t have predicted a severe eye infection would prevent him from covering the Olympic games for a few days. (Unlike di Silvestri, Costas had a replacement).  Things happen.  A highly contagious  stomach bug brought down half of our high school’s  hockey team one year, weakening the team’s overall game.

It seems unfair that one athlete’s fall could become the obstacle that brings down another athlete but this is the nature of events such as the snowboard cross competition.  In an instant, a spill can result in a loss for two men and third place for an athlete who was trailing behind.  In men’s cross-country skiing, Noah Hoffman tripped and fell on a turn and while trying to recover got elbowed in the face.  He lost his goggles as well as crucial time in the race.

Even smart, well-prepared people make silly  mistakes.

Cross Country Skier Jessie Diggins, anchor on the U.S. women’s relay team, sprinted onto the track and into the wrong lane of the last leg of her race.  She had to stop and turn around before proceeding.  Although the U.S. women were already farther behind than they hoped to be, Diggins wanted at least to finish strong for her team.  How did she react to her error?  She said, “I’m really proud of how I skied. I pushed myself really hard. We pushed ourselves as hard as we could, and we believed in each other, and that’s what matters. I’m just really proud of the team effort.”

Not all judges will recognize and appreciate a job well done.

People may forever question how Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova walked away with the gold medal in figure skating in Sochi, upsetting defending champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea.  Unquestionably talented, Sotnikova’s final winning score  increased noticeably from her previous best arousing suspicion.  Although strict criteria need to be met to earn points, scores are still being entered by humans and subject to interpretation.

Maybe no one was more surprised by her scores than U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner.  Waiting to view her scores, her exhilaration and confidence changed abruptly to shock and frustration when she viewed the disappointing results.  “Bull***t!” was her outburst caught on camera.

Sometimes highly skilled, highly  prepared people just fall short.

This happened to Shani Davis, who was hoping to earn medals with his fellow U.S.  speed skaters in Sochi.  Davis and his teammates headed into the 1500 meter race without having earned any medals at that point and instead of putting this reality behind them they wasted time wondering if the suits they wore could have slowed them down.  Instead of gearing up to increase their speed in the 1500 meter race, they went into it still feeling defeated and disappointed in themselves and it showed in their lackluster performance.

* * * *

All teens want to succeed.  With sufficient preparation and interest, teens that have the desire and courage to do well – at a college interview, job interview, driving test, presentation, tryout for a sports team/musical/ band/ leadership role or any activity they deem important to them – should first and foremost feel proud that they took a risk to even try. (Some teens let fear of failure or embarrassment prevent them from trying at all).

When things don’t go as hoped, disappointment is normal.  But instead of dwelling on what went wrong and letting the disappointment prevail (as Shani Davis and his teammates did), a better reaction would be to state the following with conviction:   I did my absolute best under the circumstances (much like Jessie Diggins).  Again, the courage it takes to prepare and try one’s best should be reason to celebrate and permission to move forward with a new plan.  As Kelly Clarkson says, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Finally, no matter how disappointing or unfair the outcome of a task may feel, lashing out verbally or physically is not a classy way to react to disappointment, especially if television cameras are recording it for the world to see.  (It’s hard to forget the behavior of people like John McEnroe and Tanya Harding).  A smarter reaction to disappointment?   Stay calm and know without a doubt that you did your very best.

Saying Yes to the Prom Dress


I have a confession to make.  I cannot seem to peel my eyes away from the show Say Yes to the Dress.  I’m intrigued by everything about this program:  the relationships between the brides and their bridesmaids and families, the endless drama, the dress selections and rejections and the amount of money these girls are sometimes willing to spend on gowns that they will wear only once.  Some of the girls try on dozens and dozens of dresses, only to find some reason to not to like them.  I often wonder if these women, who look stunning in many of those rejected gowns, have lost touch with the true meaning of the upcoming occasion.

I wonder if something similar is happening in the prom dress industry.  I recently got a text from my daughter, who is a high school senior. The text had an attached picture of her in a gorgeous royal blue prom gown.  We both loved everything about it.  Well …. almost everything.  Royal blue, figure flattering, coverage of a key area, elegant but youthful and fun,…..

Six hundred dollars.    Wowza!

It’s perfect, read my daughter’s text. I love it.  This was followed by some very logical attempts to win my approval. (She knows I’m practical). She has been to a few proms and has never spent a lot for any gown:   At one prom she wore a bridesmaid gown from a wedding that I was in.  At another she bought a beautiful gown at a consignment shop for half of its original price. And last year her Lord & Taylor gown rang up on sale for $69.99.  (We practically squealed at the register).


There’s no denying this $600 dress was exquisite and surely required many hours of labor by a skilled seamstress to achieve this level of quality.  (I admire people who can do this kind of work.  I can only sew buttons onto clothes).  Yet no matter how valid her arguments seem, I cannot justify spending $600 on a dress that will be worn for a few hours.  Not when we both know there is a gorgeous gown at a fraction of that price on a rack somewhere, waiting to be discovered.  Would that gown measure up to this one in quality?  Probably not.  But would anyone be thinking about this at prom?  Probably not.

I understand how exciting it is to get dressed up in formalwear. (I would like to be invited to a black tie event some day).  Special occasions call for fancier clothing, hair, makeup and jewelry.  But no teenager should feel the need to pay $600 for a gown in order to feel unique and beautiful at prom.

I have told my daughter a few times, and I know she agrees with me, despite these recent pleas:  No matter what gown she chooses to wear to prom ~ as long as it complements her size, shape, and complexion, and carries with it no risk of having a wardrobe malfunction ~ she is going to look exquisite and probably have a wonderful time.  Five years from now, no one will remember what she or anyone else wore to prom, only that it was worth all the preparation and it was a memorable time.

Remember Cinderalla?  Here’s a girl who made her own gown (before it was shredded to bits by her jealous stepsisters). But if you think about it, even before her magical transformation, Cinderalla was thrilled to be going to the ball, even in her simple, homemade dress.

I like her attitude.