If you read nothing else today, read this!

I haven’t been blogging for a while because I have been going through some very trying times with one of my sons.

It has been heart wrenching, draining and all-consuming.

A mother’s love NEVER gives up.

I wanted to share a passage with my boys from one of my favorite books, The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. I feel the message is something that every teenager needs to hear. I knew that it would be difficult for them to read and understand, so I rewrote the passage as an act of love.

The truth is that the message below is for all of us.

Please share it with your loved ones and your children… with anyone who is struggling with depression, loneliness, being bullied, feeling worthless or having thoughts of suicide.

This will always be, in my opinion, one of the most life changing messages you will ever read.

Much love,





To: You

From: God (Your higher power, the universe or however you perceive God)


Know this, I hear your cry.


It passes through the darkness, filters through the clouds, mingles with starlight, and finds its way to my heart on the path of a sunbeam.


I have anguished over your pain and your cry.


Know that I hear you.


Be at peace.

Be calm.


I bring relief to your sorrow for I know its cause… and its cure.


The passing years have filled your mind with fear and doubt and anxiety and remorse and hate. There is little room for joyful memories where these beasts habitate.


Cry no more.


I am with you.


Let me share with you, again, the secret you heard at birth and forgot.


You are my greatest miracle.

You are the greatest miracle in the world.


Those were the first words you ever heard. Then you cried. They all cry.


You did not believe me then… and you do not believe me now.


How could you be a miracle when you have made mistakes, when you have lacked confidence and when you have failed?



I still love you.


You have been told that you are special, that you have infinite possibilities and gifts… like an angel in action, you are divinity in disguise.


You have been told that you are the salt of the earth.


You were given the secret to move mountains, to perform the impossible.


You didn’t believe me.


The consequences of your own thoughts and deeds lead you to look for a scapegoat on which to blame your failure.


You blamed me.

You were wrong.


Let us take inventory of your blessings.


Are you blind?

No. You can see… and the hundred million receptors I have placed in your eyes enable you to enjoy the magic of a leaf, a snowflake, a pond, an eagle, a child, a cloud, a star, a rose, a rainbow… and the look of love.

Count one blessing.


Are you deaf?


No. You can hear… and the twenty-four thousand fibers I have built in each of your ears vibrate to the wind in the trees, the tides on the rocks, the majesty of music, a robin’s song, children at play… and the words I love you.

Count another blessing.


Are you mute?


No. You can speak… as can no other of my creatures and your words can calm the angry, uplift the despondent, inspire the quitter, cheer the unhappy, warm the lonely, praise the worthy, encourage the defeated, teach the struggling student… and say I love you.

Count another blessing.


Are you paralyzed?


No. You can move. You can stretch and run and dance and work, for within you I have designed five hundred muscles, two hundred bones, and seven miles of nerve fiber all synchronized by me so you can move.

Count another blessing.


Are you unloved and unloving?


No. No more. Love’s greatest secret is, to receive love it must be given with no thought of its return. To love for fulfillment, satisfaction, or pride is not love. Love is a gift on which no return is demanded. Now you know that to love unselfishly is its own reward. And even if love is not returned it is not lost, for love not reciprocated will flow back to you and soften and purify your heart.

Count another blessing.

Count twice.


Is your heart weak?


No. Your heart is strong. Touch your chest and feel its rhythm, pulsating, hour after hour, day and night, thirty-six million beats each year, asleep or awake, pumping blood through more than sixty thousand miles of veins, arteries, and tubing… pumping more than six hundred thousand gallons each year. Man has never created such a machine.

Count another blessing.


Do you have a skin disease?


No. Your skin is a marvel of creation, you need only wash it with soap and water. In time all steels tarnish and rust, but not your skin. Eventually the strongest of metals will wear, with use, but not the layer of skin that I have constructed around you. Constantly it renews itself, old cells replaced by new, just as the old you, replaced by the new. Everyday a new day to reinvent yourself.

Count another blessing.


Are you unable to breathe?


No. Your lungs are the portholes to life. They support you even in the vilest environments and they labor always to filter life-giving oxygen through six hundred million pockets of folded flesh while they rid your body of gaseous wastes.

Count another blessing.


Do you have blood poisoning?


No. Within your five quarts of blood are twenty-two trillion blood cells and within each cell are millions of molecules and within each molecule is an atom oscillating at more than ten million times each second. Each second, two million of your blood cells die to be replaced by two million more in a resurrection that has continued since your birth.

Count another blessing.


Are you feeble of mind?


No. You can think for yourself. Your brain is the most complex structure in the universe. I know. Within its three pounds are thirteen billion nerve cells, more than three times as many as there are people on earth. To help you file every perception, every sound, every taste, every smell, every action you have experienced since the day of your birth, I have implanted, within your cells, more than one thousand billion protein molecules. Every incident in your life is there waiting only your recall. And, to assist your brain in the control of your body I have dispersed, throughout your form, four million pain-sensitive structures, five hundred thousand touch detectors, and more than two hundred thousand temperature detectors. You are my finest creation.

Count your blessings.


Are you poor?


No. You are rich! Together we have just counted your wealth. Study the list. Count your blessings again and tally your assets!

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, know that I have given you countless more blessings for the above blessings that you lack.

You have talent, abilities, pleasures, instincts, sensations, pride and hope.

You have the power to change your life.

You have so much. Your blessings overflow from your cup for I have bestowed them upon you with much generosity and regularity.


What rich man, old and sick, feeble and helpless, would not exchange all the gold in his vault for the blessings you take so lightly?


Never in all the seventy billion humans who have walked this planet since the beginning of time has there been another exactly like you.

Never, until the end of time, will there be another such as you.

You don’t understand or appreciate your uniqueness.

Yet, you are the rarest thing in the world.


From your father, in his moment of supreme love, flowed countless seeds of love, more than four hundred million in number. All of them swam within your mother, gave up the chase and died.

All except one. You!

You alone persevered within the loving warmth of your mother’s body, searching for your other half, a single cell from your mother so small that more than two million would be necessary to fill an acorn shell. Yet, despite impossible odds, in that vast ocean of darkness, you persevered, found the minuscule cell, joined with it, and began a new life.


YOUR life.

Two cells now united in a miracle.

Two cells, each containing twenty-three chromosomes and within each chromosome hundreds of genes, which would govern every characteristic about you, from the color of your eyes to the charm of your manner, to the size of your brain.

With all the combinations at my command, beginning with that single sperm from your father’s four hundred million, through the hundreds of genes in each of the chromosomes from your mother and father, I could have created three hundred thousand billion humans, each different from the other.


But who did I bring forth?




One of a kind.

Rarest of rare.

A priceless treasure, possessed of qualities in mind and speech and movement and appearance and actions as no other who has ever lived, lives, or shall live.


Why do you value yourself in pennies when you are worth a fortune?


Why do you listen to others who bully you and put you down, and why do you believe them?


No longer hide your rarity in the dark.

Bring it forth.

Show the world.


Don’t strive to be like your friends. Never imitate others. Be yourself. Show your rarity to the world and they will shower you with gold.


For all the rules and speeches and scriptures on success and how to attain it, only one method has never failed… Go the extra mile.


The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what the task may be. This is a habit that has been followed by all successful people since the beginning of time. The surest way to doom yourself to mediocrity is to perform only the work for which you are paid.


Go the extra mile.


Don’t think you are being cheated if you deliver more than the small portion you receive. There is a pendulum to all of life and the sweat you deliver, if not rewarded today, the pendulum will swing back tomorrow and deliver tenfold.

The mediocre never go the extra mile. If you only do as little as others, the responsibility for your failure is yours alone.

Do not be concerned if you serve an ungrateful boss. Serve him more. Go the extra mile.

You cannot command success, you can only deserve it.



To count your blessings with gratitude, to proclaim your rarity with pride, to go the extra mile and then another, these acts are not accomplished in the blink of an eye.

Be patient with yourself and your progress.

Things that you acquire with the most difficulty you retain the longest; just as those who have worked to earn a fortune are more careful with it than those whom inherit one.


Be proud. You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator. You are a manifestation of no force but mine, of no love but mine.

You were made for a purpose.

I have never lost faith in you and I made no further effort to improve on you.


For how could I improve on a miracle?


You were a marvel to behold and I was pleased. I gave you this world and dominion over it. Then, to enable you to reach your full potential I placed my hand upon you and endowed you with powers unknown to any other creature in the universe, even unto this day.


I gave you the power to think.

I gave you the power to love.

I gave you the power to will.

I gave you the power to laugh.

I gave you the power to imagine.

I gave you the power to create.

I gave you the power to plan.

I gave you the power to speak.

I gave you the power to pray.


My pride in you knows no bounds. You are my ultimate creation.

My greatest miracle.

A complete living being.

One who can adjust to any climate, any hardship, any challenge. One who can manage his own destiny without any interference from me. One who can translate a sensation or perception, not by instinct, but by thought and deliberation into whatever action is best for himself and all humanity.


I gave you one more power.

A power so great that not even my angels possess it.


I gave you the power to choose.


With this gift, I placed you even above my angels… for angels are not free to choose sin.


I gave you complete control over your destiny. I asked you to determine for yourself, your own nature by exerting your own free will. You are free to fashion yourself in whatever form you prefer. You have the power to choose to degenerate into the lowest forms of life, and also the power, out of your soul’s judgement, to evolve into your highest form, which is divine.


What have you done with this tremendous force?


Look at yourself.


Think of the choices you have made in your life and recall, now, those bitter moments you would have fallen to your knees if only you had the opportunity to choose again.


Use wisely your power of choice.


Choose to love… rather than hate.

Choose to laugh… rather than cry.

Choose to create… rather than destroy.

Choose to persevere… rather than quit.

Choose to praise… rather than gossip.

Choose to heal… rather than wound.

Choose to give… rather than steal.

Choose to act… rather than procrastinate.

Choose to grow… rather than stagnate.

Choose to pray… rather than curse.

Choose to live… rather than die.


Now you know that your misfortunes were not my will, the power of your actions and thoughts, and their outcomes were your doing, not mine. My gifts of power were too great for your small nature. Now you have grown both taller and wiser and the fruits of all your positive efforts will be yours.

You are more than a human being.

You are a human becoming.


You are capable of great wonders.

Your potential is unlimited.


Who else, among my creatures, has mastered fire?

Who else, among my creatures, has conquered gravity, has traveled through space, overcome disease, famine, floods, hurricanes and droughts?


Never demean yourself again!


Never settle for the crumbs of life!


Never hide your talents, from this day forward.


Remember, a child says, “When I am big.”

A teenager says, “When I grow up.”

A grownup says, “When I get married.”

An adult says, “When I retire.”

And then, retirement comes and you look back over your life and somehow it seems you have missed it and its gone.


Enjoy this day, today… and tomorrow, tomorrow.


But just as before… you can choose failure and despair or success and happiness.


The choice is yours. The choice is exclusively yours. I can only watch, as before… in pride… or sorrow.


Remember to always count your blessings, proclaim your rarity, go the extra mile and use wisely your power of choice.


And one more thing… do all things with love… love for yourself, love for all others, and love for me.


Now wipe away your tears.

Reach out, grasp my hand and stand straight.


And always remember…


















I’ve Been Nominated for Humor Writer Of The Month!(Please Read, LIKE And Share From The Erma Site… I Mean, Help A girl Out.” Thanks In Advance!)

I am so shocked and excited to be nominated for “Humor Writer Of The Month” on Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop! If you’re too young to know who Erma Bombeck is, please Google her, she is a legend! I promise that she will make you laugh!

I’m not sure how you actually win this title but I’m calling on all my family, cousins (I’m Irish Catholic on my father’s side, so I have a lot of cousins) and friends. Please click on the link below, read, LIKE and share from the Erma site so I get credit.

Here’s the link:

I’d like to check you for ticks

Many thanks and much love,

Erin Cooper Reed 🙂

Speaking Teenager 2017: The Short Course In 8 Simple Steps

Understanding the teenage mind is tough enough, in and of itself… trying to understand what the hell it is teenagers are saying is a completely different story.

Slang has changed through the years and over decades.

Just to get you up to speed, here are 8 Slang Terms that I’ve learned from my kids: 

  1. Fam – If you over hear your kids talking about their “Fam” and you smile to yourself, thinking they mean you… Know that their “Fam” is their group of close friends. (Sorry if this news comes as a disappointment, remember it’s all about them, not you.)
  2.  Lit, Dope or Legit –  What used to be groovy in the 70’s, became awesome in the 80’s and Phat in the 90’s, is now Lit, Dope or legit in 2017. Note: Lit can also mean drunk, but “That’s dope!” isn’t about drugs.
  3. Turnt – Which brings me to my next point…I’m sure you remember the song, “Teenage Wasteland” and the popular use of the word “Wasted.” Well, wasted has now been replaced with “Turnt.” Are you still following me?
  4. Throwing Shade – What we have often called talking smack, or talking shit, is now refered to as throwing shade or being disrespectful towards someone.
  5. Esketit – Translation, “Let’s Get It.” This phrase was made popular by rapper Lil Pump. Also spelled Esskeetit, means let’s “get money”, “get lit”, or can mean just having fun.
  6. Gwap – In my day you used to “Bring home the bacon” but today it’s all about getting the “Gwap,” otherwise known as money.
  7. Bad Ass – The tough guy isn’t the bad ass. If someone is bad ass they display extreme confidence, ability and disregard for authority. If you’re wearing a bad ass watch, that means your watch is excellent.
  8. Wile Out – We used to say freak out or freaking out. Today, to “wile out” or “to be wilin” means to act rowdy or crazy.

I’ve learned so much and I hope that you have too!

Do you think that it would be cool if I got turnt, as long as I didn’t wile out

I mean, esketit,

Don’t be throwing shade!

All that matters is that I’m legit and I bring home the qwap.

Just sayin…


Your cool mom

That was a bad ass post, right?

P.S. – Spellcheck has no idea what I just said, but I’m not sure I do either…


Come on Erin, What REALLY Happened With The Silver Alert?

Last night at work I had a friend ask me, “What REALLY happened with the Silver Alert?” (Thank you Michele for inspiring me to finally write about this)

At the time my son, Marc, was missing, my ex-husband was calling me and telling me not to post about our son, Marc, on my Facebook or my blog. After twenty years of being told what I should and could, or could not do, I cowered and complied.

I am not proud that he still has the ability to shut me down.

After the fact, I ended up writing a post on my blog about Marc being missing and how I wanted to lose weight. Probably the worst post I have ever written… nonetheless, I was in a bad head-space and I posted it anyway, not wanting to reveal any details as my ex-husband had instructed.

Marc loves his dad and is very protective of him. No matter what John and I do for Marc, we will never be able to give enough for Marc to accept John and I as a couple.

Fifteen is a tough age. I remember it all too well. I remember feeling that I was as big in stature as most adults… and also feeling that I knew it all and could do anything that adults do.

This combination leads to some pretty bad decision-making on the part of a fifteen year old.

I know it all too well, yet as a parent it doesn’t make it any easier.

Prior to the actual Silver Alert, Marc was making comments for weeks about going to live in New York.

I called my ex-husband.

“Marc is saying that he’s moving to New York.” I stated.

“Don’t worry about it Erin,” He replied, “Marc has no money to get there. He’s just talking. Let it go.”

And, I did.

Until Marc came in my room to borrow my computer and check the train schedule.

I sent a text to his father, who replied, “Don’t worry. He’s just talking shit.”

I knew that Marc didn’t have the money to leave the state, so I just chalked it up as an attempt to get under my skin and I let it go, as my ex had instructed.

I returned from work on a Friday night and Marc was gone. I questioned his brothers who told me that Marc was in New York with his friend Angel who lived in the Bronx.

I was surprised but comforted that they knew where Marc was.

Angel is my Landlord’s nephew. I knew that Marc was safe and I was ready to ride out the latest chapter in parenting a teen who was irreversibly affected by both domestic violence and divorce.

I worked a double on Saturday, feeling a bit out of sorts. I checked with Rocky and Kevin who both told me that Marc would be home on Sunday night and at school Monday morning.

Saturday night I awoke from a deep sleep in the middle of the night. I walked into Marc’s room. I had no idea why I did, but I have become in tune with my sixth sense.

The room was dark and empty. I glanced at the entertainment center and confirmed the reason that I had gotten up in the first place… both his T.V. and PlayStation were gone.

“John!” I yelled, “Marc hocked his T.V. and PlayStation. They’re gone. He’s not coming home.”

I was petrified and full of fear.

I began to cry.

That turned out to be a long night of tears, worry and no sleep.

On Sunday, Marc texted me saying that he was hungry and wanted some food.

“Where are you Marc?” I texted in reply.

“In the Bronx with Angel.” Marc replied, “Can you send me some pizza?”

Part of me felt like not enabling him and letting he deal with the decisions he made. The mother in me couldn’t stand the thought of eating without knowing that my child had been fed.

“Call me.” I texted, “I need the address where you are so I can send the pizza.

My cell phone rang.

“Mom, I’m almost out of minutes. Here’s the address. Please send me something to eat. I’m starving.”

I dialed the number Marc had given to me and placed an order for wings, two pizzas, cinnamon sticks and a bottle of soda, as I listed off what I thought to be the delivery address.

The woman at Domino’s Pizza put me on hold for a ridiculous amount of time.

Finally she returned to the phone.

“Ma’am, the address that you gave me is our address.” She stated, “”Do you still want me to go through with the order?”
“Yes,” I replied. “My son will come and pick it up. I said realizing that Marc must be in walking distance of this Dominos.

“I ordered the food,” I texted Marc when his order had been placed.

“Thank you, Mom. I’m not coming back home.” He said, “I’m almost out of cell phone minutes and I’m going to live with a friend in Manhattan who used to go to my school. His family owns a restaurant and I’m going to wait tables.”

“Marc, you’re fifteen. What do you know about waiting tables?” I yelled, “You have school tomorrow!”

Marc hung up.

Talk about stress.

I should have never listened to my ex… if this kid runs out of phone minutes, I’ve lost him.

“Okay, we’re going to the police station now!” I yelled, as John hurriedly got his shoes on and grabbed his car keys.

Kevin flew into the room.

“Mom, my girlfriend Anna is on the way here to meet the family for the first time! Please don’t involve the police! We have to pick her up at the train station in forty-five minutes… how long is this going to take at the police station?” He pleaded.

“Kevin, your brother is missing! Anna is just going to have to get used to our crazy lives. I have to go, I’m worried about Marc.” I said, as I rushed out  of the front door.

Once at the police station, I realized that I had to pee.

“I’m going to the bathroom.” I told John.

“Okay.” He said, sitting in a chair in the waiting room, settling in for the long haul.

When I returned a few minutes later, another person was at the window, stating their complaint.

“Seriously John, we are supposed to meet Kevin’s girlfriend for the first time. Couldn’t you have taken the next spot in line while I had to pee?” I asked in desperation.

“I didn’t know what you wanted me to do.” John replied.

I sighed and took a seat in a hard chair in front of the vending machines.

The person next up at the window, (Not us of course) rattled off his name, date of birth and street address for all to hear, as we sat in the lobby.

“Did he just say that he lives on the same street as we do?” I whispered to John.

“Yes.” John whispered in reply.

What are the odds, I mumbled.

“I don’t know why you couldn’t have taken the next place in line while I was in the bathroom.” I said, annoyed and as stressed as I could possibly be, “We have to pick Anna up from the train station in less than forty-five minutes and I’m sick to my stomach about Marc.”

The guy on the same street as us began to file his complaint.

“I believe that someone shot a beebee gun at the siding on my house. There is a dent to prove it.” He said, as if it was the most important crime of the century.

It took all of the strength that I could muster not to yell, “MY CHILD IS MISSING AND ALMOST OUT OF PHONE MINUTES! IF I DON’T ACT FAST I CAN LOSE HIM FOREVER!”

But I sat quietly, rolling my eyes.

Finally it was our turn at the window.

I had the chance to vent and tell my story about my missing fifteen year old son and my emotions began to get the better of me.

The officer told me to please take a seat, and I complied.

I was worried for Marc.

I felt bad that I was ruining Kevin’s girlfriend’s first visit.

I was afraid and I wanted someone, anyone, to tell what to do.

Behind closed doors, I heard the officers talking about who was going to take what case.

I held my head in my hands, tapping my foot as I waited for my name to be called.

“Mrs. Reed.” The officer said as he lead us to a private room.

“So was it a toss-up between who took the dented siding and who took the missing child case?” I asked in jest.

“Actually, it was.” The officer laughed.

“Well I think that you might have drawn the short straw.” I said, as I began to fill him in on all of the details.

Before long, both my strength and my sense of humor began to fall by the wayside as I was overcome with fear and concern.

After I answered all of the questions, I sat and cried.

My fifteen year old son was in a bad section of the Bronx and he was telling me that he wasn’t coming home. He was almost out of phone minutes and I had no idea what I would do if I lost all contact with him.

“Where did you send the pizza?” The officer asked.

I gave him the address of Domino’s Pizza which I knew was in walking distance of where my son was.

“At this point, we have to file a Silver Alert.” He replied, “He’s only fifteen years old.”

“A Silver Alert?” I asked, “Can I call my eighty-two year old mother before she sees it on TV?”

“You can.” He replied, “And you probably should. It’s just procedure, but the alert will be on television, radio and social media, nationwide.”

I called my mother and broke the news.

My mother was so distressed.

And just for the record, that conversation alone broke my heart.

The police contacted my son on the few minutes that he had left on his cell phone and made sure that he was on the next train and on his way home.

My ex-husband retrieved Marc from the train station and the police met them at my house.

Marc was home and safe…

Angry about the police involvement.

Angry with me.

But home (thank God) nonetheless.

Anna embraced the situation for what it was and took it all in stride.

I like that Anna.

I guess if you’ve never been there, you will never know what it’s like to deal with not only your own, but everyone else’s growing pains, confusion, longing for affirmation through love and attention, and the need to heard.

I get it.

Life is hard and beautiful all at the same time.

Face your fears,

Let go of your judgement,

Don’t be afraid to call on your humor,

And live through your heart.

It will never let you down yet.

I have made it this far and for the grace of God, so will my kids.

Keep fighting the good fight… it’s always worth it in the end.

Erin Cooper Reed













“This Too Shall Pass…”

As I’m trying to write this, Marc has come into my room three times to ask for twenty dollars to go see the new Spiderman movie. I guess that’s better than the usual fight over whose turn it is on xbox live, while I’m trying to write, or (my favorite), the latest annoying rap song on repeat.

In my mind I’m in a cabin in the woods, my house is perfectly clean, I can write whenever I want, in silence, while sipping a cup of tea. When I finish writing, I’ll plant some flowers, take a long shower, then John and I will go out for a leisurely, romantic dinner at a fabulous, expensive restaurant.

In reality, my front door slams relentlessly while my boys and their friends run up and down the stairs yelling and laughing, as both of the dogs bark.

My refrigerator door gets just as much action, as my sink piles with dishes.

The requests never cease, nor does my responsibility to provide for these children.

Can Michael sleep over?

Can I get a ride to the gym? The train station? Over to Shawn’s house? To hockey? To work?

I have to work today, myself. And I have to stop for gas because the gas gauge on my car is broken and way too expensive for me to fix.

“Mom, can I have money for the mall? Taco Bell? New Sneakers? To get a snack at the corner store?”

I’m still making payments to the electric company to try catch up from when I was out of work for three months because of a knee injury.

We’re going to need to fill the oil tank soon, and just for the record, I haven’t had a manicure in months.

I have my own aspirations of things I want to accomplish in life, things I want to experience and places I’d like to visit.

For now I grin and bear it.

Dreaming of a day when there’ll be less working, more writing and more peace and quiet… more time for me.

I tell myself this is just a busy point in my life, raising these three boys. I know time flies and in the blink of an eye…

The house will be quiet.

There’ll be no dishes piled in the sink.

The laundry will be caught up.

And my house will be clean.

And silent.

Someday, there will no longer be the sound of slamming doors or footsteps on my stairs.

There won’t be any requests from my boys or needs to be met.

There will no longer be loud voices in my home, or the sound of their laughter.

I know one day, I will have done my job and my boys will move on to their own lives.

I won’t get to see their handsome faces everyday, or their smiles, or feel their hug.

I know this busy, hectic, loud, crazy time in my life shall pass…

And, I know I don’t really want it to.

Not yet.








3 Sheets To The Wind

John and I have a very comfy queen sized bed with a deep, thick mattress atop a split box spring.

Over the past few years, it has become our one indulgence to purchase quality, high thread count sheets.

We started out with a three hundred thread count, then moved up to five hundred, then to one thousand. Along the way, we’ve learned that purchasing sheets by thread count alone doesn’t always give you the best sheets… weave, fiber, finish, as well as where the sheets are made are equally important. (Just for the record, Italy and France make some of the best.)

As, we grew our queen sized luxury sheet collection we found ourselves sliding into bed every night feeling like we were at a five-star hotel. What a wonderful feeling!

Unfortunately, like most nice things that you own as parents, our sheets began to disappear.

Me: “John, why is there no top sheet on our bed?”

John: “I couldn’t find it, not the one that matched anyway.”

Me: “Seriously? Is it in the wash? It has to be around here somewhere! We spent a lot of money so we could have nice sheets.”

The months passed and our five-star hotel experience was starting to become more like a last-minute stay at an old Howard Johnsons motel when your car breaks down.

Me: (As I’m making our bed) “Why do our sheets have holes in the corners?”

John: “I guess the boys were nailing them up in the basement to make walls for their man cave.”

“Are you kidding me?” I replied, as I stamped down to our unfinished basement and pulled back a nailed up sheet to address my video-gaming sons in their man cave.

Clenching the sheet tightly in my fist, I yelled: “This is a European, one- thousand-thread-count sheet that now has rusted nail holes in it!”

My sons glanced up from their video games and stared at me like I had three heads or was speaking in tongues before saying, “Sorry Mom” in unison.

After working ten days in a row and then fifteen hours on Wednesday, I came home late at night, to pull back the covers and find a flat sheet on our bed where our European cotton, open-weave, satin finish, deep pocket, fitted sheet used to fit snugly.

“Sorry Erin, I can’t find any of our fitted sheets,” John said.

“That’s it! I’m restarting our luxury sheet collection!” I replied.

This week I bought my first new set.

And do you know what else?

When my sons become parents, I’m buying each their first expensive, high-quality, one-thousand-thread-count sheet set.

When they come to tell me that the beautiful sheets that I bought them ended up…

A) In the dog crate.

B) Used in a tree fort.

C) Cut to make a princess train for a Disney costume,


D) Nailed to the ceiling of a “Man Cave.”

I’m just going to smile and say, “Awww, that sucks, huh?” while I try to hold back my laughter.

In the meantime, I’m going to guard my new luxury sheet set with my life.

I know that I’ll need it for a good night sleep…

But I just may need to tie the top sheet into knots before throwing it out of my bedroom window to make my great escape.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.





























Our House…The Kids Off On Summer Vacation Song

One of my favorite songs…

My take on “Our House” during summer vacation from school.

Ode to my teenage boys.


Our House (Previously sung by Crosby, Stills & Nash) Remake by Erin Cooper Reed

I’ll grab a shovel,
You find the handle, for the broom that we bought today.
Staring at this mess, for hours and hours while I listen to you,
Say you’ll clean it, all week-long for me, only for me.
Come to me now and turn off the Xbox live for just five minutes, everyone can wait.
Such a dirty room, the windows are illuminated,
By the evening, sunshine through those, dog nose prints for you, only for you.
Our house is a very, very, very fine house with a hockey net laying in the yard,
Why is putting things away so hard?
Now everything is messy ’cause of you.
And our, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
Blah, blah, blah, blah…
Our house is a very, very, very fine house with a hockey net laying in the yard,
Why is putting things away so hard?
Now everything is messy ’cause of you
And our,
I’ll grab a shovel, while you find the handle for the broom that we bought today-ay-ay-ay.

I’m Pretty Sure That Our Television Remote Came With A Back Cover… The Top 10 Casualties Of Parenting

As far back as I can remember, all I ever wanted was to be a mother.

Twenty-one years, and three children later, it has been an amazing, joyous, loving, stressful, worrisome, exasperating ride, to say the least.

Never in my wildest dreams did I image all of the bizarre “Casualties of Parenting” that I would encounter.

Here are the top 10: ( How many can you relate to? Read the list and see how you score. The results are below. Enjoy!)

  1. Every remote that you own is missing a back – I was on the phone with a friend that was trying to order a movie on cable. “None of my remotes have backs!” She said with disgust. “None of mine do either!” I replied. That’s when it hit me, we are not alone!
  2. The biggest thing standing between your child making the bus and you driving them to school, is one lost sneaker – Every. Damn. Time. I am going to tie my son’s favorite sneakers together by the laces and make him wear them on his head when he goes to bed at night… unless anyone has a better suggestion…
  3. A ringing cordless phone will be ANYWHERE, except on the phone charger – Several years ago, we purchased a set of three cordless phones! Great idea! How convenient for a three level home! After spending hours recovering the handsets from the sofa cushion, hamper, under my child’s bed and on top of the dryer, we threw all of them in the trash. Just sayin..
  4. The freezer door will continually remain open a crack overnight – It is my extreme joy and apparently my job to shut the freezer door all the way, every morning. I enjoy this only second to struggling to pay our monthly utility bill.
  5. The pantry contains several empty boxes of snacks – I am aware that IT IS a rather long walk from the pantry to the trash receptacle in the kitchen of our tiny duplex, so kids please be aware that I do acknowledge this burden. I would appreciate if you would accept and acknowledge that I will not buy more snacks if the pantry looks full. Truce?
  6. The center dial for the shower is always in the “ON” position – I absolutely love struggling to get my schnauzer, Max, in the tub for a bath, only to turn on the tub water and drench my entire head and clothing with a stream of water from the shower head above. Enough said.
  7. You fear that you’ve run out of oil in the oil tank – I’m a waitress and that means I live on the edge financially. When the heat doesn’t turn on, or the shower runs cold, I panic about the cost of refilling the oil tank. “Don’t worry mom, I turned off the switch on the furnace so I could listen to rap music in the basement.”
  8. You are considering buying stock in cell phone chargers – Some people are contemplating investing in medical marijuana while I’m tallying what I have spent in cell phone chargers over the past year… hence, I can not afford a vacation. Maybe it’s time I started a stock portfolio.
  9. You are told that entire carton of eggs makes for the perfect protein drink – My teenagers are always going to the gym and following high protein, low carb diets. I stopped purchasing cold cuts, as someone in my home can consume a pound of turkey in one sitting. One morning I witnessed Kevin separating the yolks and the whites from an entire carton of eggs to make a protein blender drink. Just for the record, the yolks were in the same kitchen trash receptacle that no one can seem to locate for empty snack boxes from the pantry. Strange… very strange.
  10. The only broom that you own is missing the handle and you can’t find it – I’m pretty sure that purchasing brooms is running a close second to cell phone chargers, with lamps coming in third place. I am not sure if my children are reliving the phase of Star Wars light sabers, or if they are just using broom handles to beat the hell out of each other while I’m at work. I do know that the handles are always A) Missing B) Broken, or C) Screwed onto the wrong base so the handle spins as you try to sweep, ultimately defeating the purpose of sweeping all together.

I guess that I have come to terms with all of the above being part of the “Casualties of Parenting.” I know it could certainly be worse, but for right now I’m just going to stop writing and go look for my cell phone charger, maybe it’s next to the empty snack boxes in the pantry.



0 out of 10 – You must be single with no children.

1 or 2, out of 10 – Your children must be under the age of 3 

3 to 7, out of 10 – Just wait… there’s more…

8 or more – Maybe we could meet for a drink… I know I need one!


Please feel free to post your results in the comment section below or share your own “Casualties of Parenting.”

We are all in this together!

Stay strong and don’t forget to laugh!

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed


DO NOT Call Me At Work Unless It’s An EMERGENCY

If there is one thing that I’ve instilled in all three of my children, it is the importance of not disrupting me at work, unless it is an emergency.

That being said, when I see one of their numbers come up on my cell phone, I’m struck with panic.

Oh God, I hope everything is okay!


“Yes, Rocky?” I ask in a concerned voice, “Is everything all right?”

“No, everything is not all right! Marc traded my favorite sneakers to a kid up the street for a trash bag full of soda can returnables… my FAVORITE SNEAKERS!”

What? Okay, I’m at work right now. I’ll figure it out when I get home.” I reply.

“I hope so, if not I’m going to kill him!” Rocky yells before hanging up the phone.


Cell phone vibrates. Ugh, not again.



“Yes, Kevin. What is it? I told you kids not to call me at work unless it’s an emergency.”

“Rocky and Marc are fighting. Is there any way you can lend me ten dollars or drive me to GameStop to sell some video games?” Kevin asks.

“Kev, I’m trying to work right now. Please make sure that your brothers aren’t fighting. I have to go.”

“Wait Mom, what time do you get out?”


Cell phone vibrates. You have got to be kidding me!


“Hello. Make it quick!”


“Mom… wait, wait, wait… don’t hang up.” I hear Marc say into the phone. “Rocky hit me! Is there anyway that you can take me to the store to return some soda cans?”


Tonight I’m having all of them Google the word “Emergency.

I don’t think the Google search will reveal anything to do with sneakers, soda cans or video games… but I’ll have them check anyway, just to be sure.


My life, I swear…




A Lobster Tale

When I was in high school, I had a classmate whose family owned a local fish market. They were known for selling the freshest seafood at affordable prices and it didn’t hurt they were the only game in town.

I enjoy seafood, and I absolutely love lobster.

One day I was talking to two of my girlfriends about how much I love lobster… hot and dripping in butter… a salad and a baked potato – pure heaven.

We were all in agreement about the pure heaven part and before we knew it, I was driving my baby blue Chevy Chevette to the fish market so we could score some lobster.

It is easy to cook, right?

I mean, just boil it.

It is sort of sad, though, don’t they scream?

We talked the entire way there, feeling rather adult-like while convincing ourselves we could certainly prepare a delicious lobster dinner.

Once inside the fish market we were taken aback by the overpowering smell. Okay, so fish smell… but lobster dinner, totally worth it.

We selected three lobsters with the care one takes in purchasing a new vehicle (not that I would, I mean, I owned a Chevette!) and smiled as we handed over our hard-earned cash.

They gave us a brown paper bag containing the lobsters and not one of us extended an arm to grab it.

“Well somebody has to hold it!” I announced, “I have to drive.”

Reluctantly one of my friends finally grabbed the bag and carried it at arm’s length, as if it contained a boa constrictor.

She placed the bag on the back seat, I started the car and we were on our way.

We were laughing and talking, as teenage girls do, giddy with excitement over the feast  we were soon to prepare.

“How long do you think we have to boil them for?” I asked.

“Until they’re red.” My friend in the passenger seat replied.

Suddenly, my friend in the back seat let out a blood-curdling scream.

I slammed on the brakes right in the middle of Route 1, a busy, well-traveled road.

“They’re getting out of the bag!” She yelled as she swung open the car door.

We all screamed in unison and fled the vehicle leaving all of the car doors open.

“Oh my God! What are we going to do?” My friend yelled.

“I’m not picking them up!” I said, as I felt a shiver run down my spine.

Cars were stopped behind us as the people driving in the lane to the left of us slowed down to see what all of the commotion was about.

“They’re trying to crawl into the front seat!” My friend bellowed, and we all started to shriek again.

I was panicked about the loose lobsters in my car. I liked them better when they were in the bag, which I intended to dump them from into a boiling pot of water I thought as I saw the flashing lights of the cop car behind us.

The officer approached and asked, “Is everything okay? Are you broken down?”

“No, officer.” I replied.

“You can not stop and abandon your vehicle in the middle of a busy road like this,” he instructed.

“Well, the lobsters are out of the bag,” my friend stated, looking like she was going to start to cry.

The traffic was mounting around us.

The officer looked into the vehicle. He never even asked to see my license or registration.

He simply picked up the lobsters, put them back into the brown paper bag and rolled up the top.

“Go straight home,” he said, and we got back into the car.

I never drove so carefully or with as much anxiety, as I did that day.

We cooked the lobsters, dumping them straight from the bag into the pot of boiling water and they were as delicious as we had imagined they would be…

To this day, I have never purchased another live lobster from a fish market, and not because I wouldn’t like to.

I just think that it would be better if I got them an UBER.

Just sayin…

My Life I Swear