Gold Fever

This morning as I drove bleary-eyed to the gym, something on the side of the road caught my eye. And then my breath caught.

It was a little boy’s BMX bike spray painted gold laying on the sidewalk in the rain. Solid gold, but dull, the whole bike. Two words flashed in my mind: Gold Fever.

And then another: Scott.

We all have those friends, those of us who grew up in the non-helicopter parenting of the 80’s. The ones to whom we were introduced before we could walk and then with whom we grew up side by side. The ones with whom you roamed the neighborhood until the sun went down, or mom rang the backdoor bell. The ones who, on Christmas morning, met you in the street to show you the presents Santa brought them and see what Santa brought you. Scott was one of those friends.

We had a whole crew, actually. Scott and Nicole. Jimmy, Brucie and Jill. Jennifer. Scotty and Sean. Lorraine and Angela. And us, the Clarks who lived on Clark Avenue. But we were all the Clark Avenue kids.

I think it was Christmas of 1986 when we met in the intersection of Clark and San Carlos to ooh and ahh over Gold Fever. Gold Fever was the coolest bike we had ever seen. She belonged to Scott. Gold Fever wasn’t spray painted. Gold Fever was MADE to sparkle and shine. Her gold flecked paint reminded me of a 50’s diner stool, so shiny and glittery. She had black and white bold block letters that read GOLD FEVER on the cross bar. He rode her with a boyish arrogance that made us all jealous. He was so lucky.

Scott, too, was made to shine. He was the coolest. I can still smell his musky sweaty smell after a summer afternoon climbing in his backyard grapefruit tree. I can still hear his fingers playing Ebony and Ivory on his family room piano. I can still see the framed picture of The Edge he kept on his dresser. I smile when I think of the lengthy games of “mermaids and mermaid catchers” we played in his pool.

One day, not long after that Christmas of 1986, Gold Fever disappeared. The whole neighborhood felt her loss. We were so angry that someone had the audacity to take Gold Fever from Scott.

He had her for such a short time. So cruel.

We grew into teenagers. We didn’t ride bikes as much anymore. But we still played night games out in the neighborhood, and celebrated all the fire works holidays together. It takes my breath away to think of the day Scott received his Eagle Scout award. Afterwards, in his backyard where we spent hours and hours as children, he laughed at me for crying during the ceremony. These memories are some of my most special.

And then one day, Scott was no longer with us. Gone the way of Gold Fever. Stolen from his loving family, his friends and his loyal crew, the Clark Avenue kids. Taken too soon by a cancer that ravaged his 16 year old brain. When I came home from school that afternoon in late January of 1992, my mother told me he had left us. With a loud sob, I crumbled to my knees in my ivory Benetton pants in another neighbor’s driveway.

Many others felt his loss more acutely than I. His parents and little sister Nicole, to be sure. But also, my brother who, at 13 years old, gently placed his Scapular around Scott’s neck and bravely sat with him as he took his final breaths.

We had him for such a short time. So cruel.

Even now, at 41 years old, 26 years after he left us, I still feel his loss at both the expected and the most unexpected times.

And today, when I saw that gold bike on the side of the road was one of those times I felt that devastating loss deep in my chest. With the right trigger, even very old grief has a way of swallowing you up for a moment. But the thing about old grief is that it comes with perspective. That jolt of sadness was quickly followed up with a stream of happy memories.

I can’t help but think that somewhere a little boy is desperately missing that gold bike I saw discarded on the sidewalk this morning. I hope he finds it. And if not, I hope he never forgets how lucky he was to have it, even if it was for a short time.



Y’all I tried. I really wasn’t going to say anything. Everyone knows how I feel about this already. But I can’t help it. I’m madder’n hell today. So I decided I’m not going to avoid the subject because I’m afraid of what people might say to me (except, yes, I am a little afraid of what people might say).
I am a patriotic American and I’m not ashamed of that. This comes as no surprise to people who know me. In (very) general terms I consider myself pro-military and pro-police. I love America. I love what the flag stands for. I RESPECT what the flag stands for. And I am a fan of the NFL (duh).
So to Kap I say this: See what you did here?? Do you see what you did?? Look at how much influence you have over other people. With the utmost sincerity, I say that is amazing. You (possibly unwittingly) started a revolution of sorts. You’ve even got eight-year-olds at pee-wee football games across the country kneeling during the National Anthem and they probably have no idea why they are really doing it. They’re just doing it because YOU did.
But here’s the million dollar question: What did that knee-taking revolution ACCOMPLISH? What did it actually DO??? Is the crime rate down? Is the unemployment rate down? Are police shootings down? Are fewer people suffering social injustice? Are fewer people oppressed? Um, sadly, I don’t think so.
But here’s what it DID do: it pissed off a lot of people. It insulted the very people who earned you the right to do it. It spit in the faces of people whose bodies were brought home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.
This stunt has taken on a life of its own and has unnecessarily further divided our country into two more categories:
Stand or kneel.
This controversy has made people more emotional, more angry and more divided. Plain and simple.
I read a piece that was floating around Facebook today written by a blogger/pastor that said, “We should stop defending songs and flags and pre game ceremonies and some cheap, ornamental nationalistic pageantry—and actually be about the work of life and liberty those things are supposed to point to”.
I’m sorry. I don’t think I could have possibly read that right. Cheap? CHEAP??? I assure you, sir, what that “ornamental nationalistic pageantry” represents did NOT come cheap. Ask around. It came with the steepest price imaginable. And for many Americans, veterans and civilians, those symbols are sacred. Shame on any American who disrespects or denigrates that.
But change that sentence a bit, sir, and maybe you’re on to something.
We should stop DESECRATING songs and flags and pre game ceremonies, and actually be about the work of life and liberty to which those symbols point (at least work on your grammar, dude. Every eighth grader knows you don’t end a sentence with a preposition).
For me, and for many other Americans, the grievance is not about whether we agree or disagree with the beliefs being expressed. One can be a believer in freedom and justice for all and ALSO harbor a deep respect for the flag and what it represents. Actually, to me, it’s more logical that way.
Neither does my grievance have anything to do with whether or not the players have the right to express themselves this way. We all know they own that right. Quit throwing that around like people don’t understand the First Amendment. We’ve all taken middle school Social Studies. Chill.
My grievance is with the very un-American, disrespectful tactic the players are choosing to express their dissatisfaction with what they see happening in this country. It’s with the misdirected target of their protest.
(And also, while we’re on the subject, let’s call a spade a spade. The American Flag and National Anthem do NOT stand for Donald Trump. They stand for AMERICA. Don’t disrespect America because you don’t like the president. That serves no purpose either).
It boils down to this: remember when you were a kid and you sassed, your mom would say, “It’s not what you said. It’s HOW you said it”?
That’s all I’m saying, folks…


I am a natural born rule follower. And being a particularly high strung rule follower, it makes me especially livid when people think the rules don’t apply to them. 
The morning drop off line is a prime example of this phenomenon. 
Listen lady. I, too, was running late this morning on account of picture day hair. 
Don’t you think I wanted to drive around the cones, cut the snake line and just go straight to the drop off area? You bet your ass I did. But you know why I didn’t? Because it’s AGAINST THE RULES. Why do you think your time is more valuable than that of all the other people waiting patiently in the car line? 

I mean I guess it’s poooooooooossible that you were in a hurry to get over to Shands to perform a heart transplant but I seriously doubt your potential as a cardiothoracic surgeon based upon your inability to follow the rules. And besides…I think I know both heart surgeons at our school and you ain’t one. 
I’m also talking to you lady who stood outside her car and slowly packed up her kids’ backpacks with three car doors open and then unloaded her kids one at a time, walking them each to the sidewalk. I’m with you, sister. My kids have a lot of shit to carry too. It’s a pain in the ass to make sure they are locked and loaded and ready to be ejected from the car like Maverick and Goose when the safety patrol approaches the car. But I do. You know why? Because it’s the RULES. And also because I’m trying to be considerate of the people behind me who might be in a hurry. 

Look, I understand if your kids are little, they might need help unloading, but that’s what the park and walk up area is for. I did it every day for three years when mine weren’t ready to fly out of the car line nest unassisted.  parking lot to walk them up. Now it’s my turn to revel in the efficiency of the car line (in my pajama pants if I feel like it) and you are ruining it. Take a walk. On the bright side, all those extra steps will add up on your FitBit. 
And you in the back…lady who gets out like a chauffeur and lets her kid out on the driver’s side of the car. Don’t you think I want to allow my kids to get out on their respective sides of the car as to avoid the inevitable pushing and shoving match that looks a lot like a 1984 Toys R Us Cabbage Patch Kid stampede? Yes ma’am, I sure do. But you know why I don’t? Because we’ve been told no less than 67 times not to let the kids out on the driver’s side so they don’t get hit by a car. IT’S THE RULES. 
In conclusion, may I remind you that THE RULES APPLY TO EVERYONE.

Even in the car line. 
Thank you and good day.

Back to School 

It’s that time of year again…

Back to school.

There are two types of moms on the first day of school. Wait, no, three:

1) The ones who get out of the car and kiss the ground of the drop off line then burn rubber peeling out of there while blasting “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang on their way to Publix where they won’t have to stop and get anyone a free cookie.

2) The ones who cry a single tear for each day they didn’t have to set an alarm into their strong morning coffee while counting the days until Christmas break.


3) The ones who say screw this shit. I’m just gonna homeschool.

Well, being that I am not bat shit crazy and number three would be grounds for me being Baker Acted, I fall firmly into category number two. (And before you light me up for calling homeschool moms bat shit, chill. Homeschooling would make ME bat shit. There are times I REALLY wish I had it in me. I know my limits, people…I don’t).

For the record, I unequivocally L-O-V-E summer vacation.

Actually it’s kinda surprising considering how many years I shaved off my life this summer with these two Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling going at it all day, er’day.

But I do. I love it anyway.

The powers that be really try to make me WANT to send them back to school, though.

For one thing, I know why there exist no summer camps in session the last couple weeks of summer. They close all the camps because they want you to keep your kids at home FULL-TIME for two weeks so you’re damn good and ready to send them back on the first day.

Solid effort. Still no.

You know what does almost get me, though? The summer homework.

But ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride. Ain’t nothin’ gonna hold me down. Oh no. Not even summer homework.

No matter how hard they try, there is no making me look forward to the start of another school year.

When I first see that list of school supplies, my eyelid starts to twitch. When I have to go actually purchase the school supplies, I need a couple shots of Fireball to give me the liquid courage to face the lists. (For my forty-ish readers who aren’t familiar, Fireball is the modern day version of Goldschlagger minus the tiny flecks of real gold and your youth).

I’ll spare you the drama over the supply lists except to say, a heads up on the maxi-pads would have been nice before I handed the list to my 11 year old. She ran down the list and loudly asked “what ARE maxi-pads, Mom? Where do I find those?”

Record stop on aisle nine.

Lawd, good thing I didn’t send Big Daddy with that list. It may have sent him into the fetal position waving a white flag in the beer aisle.

That wasn’t a discussion even was prepared to have. Especially while under the duress of school supply shopping in the middle of an angry mob of parents in the Target aisles freaking the eff out over the price of pre-sharpened Ticonderoga pencils.

Anyway. First it’s the supply shopping. Then it’s the uniform ordering. And before I know it I’m blubbering to my own mom via text about the fact that another summer is over and I only have six more summers with my big girl before she leaves me forever.

To that, my mom said, “you could always have another baby…”

Talk about a record stop.

I responded with: “whoa there, Nelly. I said I’m sad…not CRAZY,” and got my shit together real quick ’cause ain’t nobody around here tryin’ to birth a baby at the ripe old age of 41. My round ligaments (and other lady parts) couldn’t take it. That ship has sailed.

But it all just goes too fast.

All summer I feel like time is slipping through my fingers like beach sand (dry beach sand…not the wet clumpy beach sand I’m cleaning out of bathing suit crotch lining all summer).

Every summer. Every year. Every phase. Just too fast.

I want to hold on tight to long summer days with a house full of kids. (No really. I do. Why are you laughing?)

Even when my I find myself buying glue and Borax by the bucket only to find slime remnants stuck all over my carpets which threatens to make my head explode.

Even when I’m spraying sunscreen for the one millionth time on a kid who is screaming about it burning her cheeks like it’s Napalm.

Even when I’m driving all over town and emptying my bank account for summer camps that are over before I even have time to finish my grocery shopping.

Even when it’s hotter than the surface of the sun and I’m breaking a sweat separating my kids from a fight over a fidget spinner.

Even when they are singing along to the Descendants soundtrack so loudly I think the high pitch of Kristin Chenoweth’s voice is going to give me a full blown aneurysm.

Even then. I still love summer. And every year I mourn when it’s over.

I grieve as I say goodbye to another season of sleeping in, vacations, adventures with friends, family time, and–arguably the best part–virtually NO obligations.

Year after year, it really gives me the sads.

And when I’m already down, to add insult to injury, I get kicked in the gut with the unthinkable: lunch packing. That’s enough to make me stick a protractor in my eye. Enough said. I know y’all feel me.

So, once again, as much as I hate it, I must send them back to school to the precious teachers who get the best of them every day and return them to me at 2:50 like rabid raccoons on crack, God love ’em.

I’m gonna try to look at the bright side, though: Gator football and hunting season are almost here to cushion the blow.

RIP summer of 2017.

Movin’ On Up

Hi friends. Today is the first day of school but I can’t even talk about that right now because I’m not quite stable enough yet.

I’m just here to direct anyone who is so inclined to find me on Facebook. I finally decided it is time to separate my personal FB page from Suepermom. So now I have two separate FB pages and that makes me a little sweaty feeling but I’ll manage.

I’ve got some lovely folks here on WordPress who I don’t know personally and have no freaking idea how to “invite” them to like a page. I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing at all. Just know that going in.

Anyway. If you want, you can find me here (I think):

You can also find me on Twitter (maybe):




Gen X-tra

Today, after extensive deliberation at Dick’s Sporting Goods while I REALLY had to go to the bathroom, the girls picked out their new water bottles for school and it got me thinking…

Did water bottles just not exist when we were little? Like, why did never have a water bottle? Why did my mom never fill a bottle to the brim with ice and purified water and tuck it in my Dollar General book bag every day?

Oh, that’s right…because I’m a  Gen X-er and we basically fended for ourselves while our moms were watching Dallas and going to Tupperware parties.

The threat of school dehydration was our problem, much like unspooled cassette tapes or telephone busy signals. Warm city water that spewed from a rusted spigot was good enough for us. We didn’t need no stinking water bottles.

But in 2017, our precious Gen-X spawn need to suckle, freely and at will, from what amounts to chemical-free, stainless steel, vacuum sealed, trendy colored portable mini-coolers. Our Baby X’s are too good for the water fountain. Water fountains are for totally basic 80’s bitches. Gen X’s kids are SO extra.

Ya’ll. They’re Gen X-tra.

You know what else is totally basic? School lunch. I got an American “cheese” sandwich on white bread with lettuce, mayo, and pepper, a bag of chips, a Little Debbie Banana Twin and MAYBE a frozen Ecto Cooler Hi-C wrapped in tin foil–all thrown into a grocery bag. Somehow, that sustained me FOR THE WHOLE DAY.  I never once collapsed from hunger.

But for these delicate angels? Well one feeding a day just doesn’t cut it. 

We, as parents, have a duty to protect our sweet peaches from the kind of suffering brought on by unsatisfied hunger throughout the school day. Sally Struthers taught me that for just pennies a day, I can provide a mid-morning snack for my little bon-bons, lest they have a hypoglycemic episode during a Mad Minute.

But one snack? Pshhhhhh. That’s SO basic.

I mean, obviously they’ll need to be fed in the afternoon too, because as an homage to our breastfeeding days, we are now “demand feeding” our school aged children. So we’re talking TWO snacks a day, people.

Gen X-tras get two snacks, a Pinterest approved lunch, and an overpriced water bottle full of iced down Aquafina. Errry-day.

My mom would have spit out her Diet Rite and laughed us right out of her Astrovan if someone suggested she pack two snacks for each of five kids and pour water and ice cubes she manually cracked out of an ice tray into five separate water bottles every day. That on TOP of the Kraft Singles sandwiches? Bitch, please. That had about as much of a chance of happening as JR Ewing becoming a missionary.

Listen. We’ve read all the blogs about 80’s kids surviving on Pop Tarts, TV dinners, and Countrytime Lemonade while roaming the neighborhood until dark like feral cats. But Gen X just ain’t havin’ it. 

Other basic shit not acceptable for Gen X’s babes: regularly scheduled programming, riding bikes unsupervised, talking on corded telephones in the kitchen, only playing sports in your own zip code, I mean, the list goes on and on.

But you know what?

I WILL provide Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

I WILL follow them on their hover boards while counting steps on my Fit Bit.

I WILL let them FaceTime their cousins in the car.

I WILL drive to volleyball tournaments across the state.

And I WILL dutifully pack my precious snowflakes two snacks, a made-to-order lunch, and fresh, clean ice water in a fancy monogrammed water bottle every morning.

Because even though the metallic tasting city water from the rusty fountain and lack of sufficiently spread out nutrition might have put a few hairs on my chest, damn if I don’t think it would have been SO. FREAKING. AWESOME to live like a Gen X-tra. 

(And anyway, let’s be honest, the Dallas reboot totally sucks and I can buy Rubbermaid containers cheap at Target, so I’ve got some “Xtra” time and money that I can dedicate to eradictating the scourges of my 80’s childhood).


Being that I am a real person, and have received just one too many comments regarding the deduction that *I* must be the true asshole if my kids are assholes, allow me to make a clarification:

I am not an asshole. My kids are not assholes. I am not teaching my asshole kids how to be bigger assholes than me thank-you-very-much. As a matter of fact, internet trolls, if you knew me, and you knew my children, you wouldn’t put such sanctimonious bullshit judgments in the comments section of a dinky blog mostly written for my friends. Because here’s the thing: my kids are actually fantastic kids 99% of the time, if I do say so myself. They are respectful; you would know that if you asked their teachers. They are the kind of kids who stand up for other kids and sit with the new kid on the first day of school; you would know that if you asked their classmates. They are appreciative; you would know that if you had heard them on the way home from the beach yesterday thank me for taking them on vacation. They are compassionate and empathetic; you would know that if you were here when they were packing lunches for underprivileged kids this summer. They are kind, smart, funny, caring, and giving; you would know all that if you ever actually met them. And they wouldn’t be that way if I were such a colossal asshole who wasn’t bothering to teach them better. I’m actually quite a strict parent with extremely high standards for my kids. In other words, I don’t take shit. But they are KIDS, dammit. ALL KIDS sometimes act like little assholes. 

So I can only deduce a few things about you. Either:

A) You are the spawn of Satan and never were a child yourself. 

B) You don’t have any children of your own. 

C) If you DO have children, you have a severe case of amnesia which warrants an evaluation of a doctor but be aware that you might injure yourself trying to get there what with the fall from your horse being such a long drop. 

or, most likely, 

D) You have absolutely NO sense of humor (which really sucks for you). 

So…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: please be kind or be quiet. Thanks a heap.