Archive for October, 2010

Beware the Thunder Bug

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Have you ever caught a thunder bug,
The lightning bug’s twin brother?
I have, my friend — and tell you what,
I’ll never catch another!

They’re exactly like a lightning bug
In almost every way.
But I put mine in my room and now
I haven’t slept for days.

‘Cause every time a thunder bug
Starts his lightning flashing
Thunder soon comes CRASHING!

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Christy Schneider.

This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

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Life Lessons from a Green Pumpkin

Thursday, October 14th, 2010


Two years ago to the day, we set out on our first pumpkin-hunt.  Thing 1 was two-and-a-half at that time and he was stoked to pick his own pumpkin.  After 20 minutes and hundreds of rejected pumpkins, he found his winner and straddled it triumphantly.

Proving perfection is truly in the eye of the beholder; his pumpkin-of-choice was a blotchy mix of green and yellow that was so soft and mushy that – as I picked it up for official inspection – the vine nearly ripped right out.

I started imaging what my better-half would say when we stepped off the hay-rack carrying a lumpy green bag of pumpkin seeds.  Which convinced me to talk some sense into the kid:

  • “it’s green!”
  • “it’s mushy!”
  • “it will blend in with our green bushes”
  • “it weighs more than you!”
  • “I love this pumpkin!” (a little reverse psychology)
  • “look at this ORANGE beauty over here!”

But he remained steadfast.  And then he out-did me:  “You told me I could choose…and I want this one.”

And so we got it.  And it turned out to be a huge hit.  Green pumpkins eventually turn orange (if you’re into that kind of thing).  But until it did, he loved having the only greenie on the block.  And ever since, it’s become his thing to pick a green pumpkin each year.  This year’s selection:


Lesson learned the hard way: kids have a lifetime of choices ahead of them. The hard part is letting them make a few of their own while the worst-case-scenario is still just a big, ugly, expensive, eyesore on your porch for a month.

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