Dr. Seuss, PM Magazine, Published October 1, 1941

Dr. Seuss, PM Magazine, Published October 1, 1941


Me: How is your new school, Euclides?

Euclides*: Good. I like it.

Me: What is your favorite subject?

Euclides: Um… I like… Um, química?

Me: Chemistry?

Euclides: Yes, Chemistry. I like that.

Me: Chemistry is cool.

Hank: What is química?

Me: Chemistry is a science.  It is the study of matter and what happens when you combine matter what kind of reactions occur like when you mix baking soda and vinagre (vinegar) and the volcano lavas.

Hank: Oh, right. Cool.

Me: What is your least favorite subject, Euclides?

Euclides: History. I do not like history. Why we need to learn these things? They are over.

Me: Why DO we need to learn these things and I can tell you why. Would you like to know?

Euclides: Yes, I do (shaking his head) Yes, I would.

Hank: Me, too.

Me: The study of history is vital to our lives today, because everything that is happening now has happened before, the technology is different and so is the stage, but trust me all of our problems were once problems before. Therefore we need historians to learn all they can and preserve, or keep history, to advise the leaders, politicians and people of today how situations were handled in the past so that we don’t make the same mistakes all over again. The problem is that some people are not willing to listen. That, my dears, is a serious problem. So Euclides, you can dislike history all you want, but be proud of your colleagues who love it and listen to them. They carry the wisdom of the ages. A true treasure.

Euclides: I never think of it like this.

Hank: Me, neither.

Me: (smiling)


Click Here for more information about the historic political cartoon by Dr Seuss.

*Euclides is our family friend.  He is 14 and Portuguese, but together we always speak in English.


Starbucks and Life Goals

conversations with hank


Hank: (packing his backpack) Mama, I have decided on some things I want for my future life.

Me: (attempting to feed Molly real food and snatching soggy puzzle pieces from her fat little hands)

Molly (determined to eat puzzle pieces, spoon dodging)

Me: Lets hear it.

Hank: I have decided that I want to be a person who always travels but comes home to one place. I want to go all over the world all the time and have room service every morning for breakfast.

Me: What else?

Molly: (mouth clamped shut, eyeing the puzzle pieces strewn about the floor)

Hank: I would like maybe for my home to be in New York City, but I don’t know because it would be dangerous for me to live in New York.

Me: How so?

Hank: I would become addicted to Starbucks.

Me: (laughing)

Molly: (laughing because I am laughing)

Me: (take my opportunity to shove food in her mouth)

Molly: (chewing, disappointed she let her guard down)

Me: You have never even had Starbucks, well maybe when you were little before we moved here, but you have no memory of it.

Hank: I know. I don’t know what a Starbucks is but I know it’s addicting.

Me: (giggling) And expensive. You will quickly realize that you will pay $5 at Starbucks what you can get for €1.10, um bolo e um meio de leite (one cake and one latte).

Hank: Yes, but they have different flavors.

Me: Hank, Starbucks is the same as McDonalds and they are opening one in Porto. I just read about it in the newspaper. I will take you to Porto and you will quickly realize not to fear a Starbucks addiction and simply find the nearest Portuguese café from your apartment in New York City and all will be well.

Hank: When can we go?

Me: Where? To New York?

Hank: No to Starbucks.

Me: (attempting and failing to get Molly to eat another bite of breakfast) Oh, the pull of the dominant culture.

Hank: Can we go this weekend? I need to know what this pumpkins spice is all about. And do you think they have lemonade? I love lemonade.

Me: (facepalm)

Molly: (finding my frustrated personal battery funny I abruptly shove the last spoon of breakfast in her mouth, her shoulders drop recognizing defeat.)


Just Be You

conversations with hank


Me: (closing the door behind our friends) Hank?

Hank: (from another room) Yes?

Me: Would you do me the honor of meeting me in my room. please?

Hank: Sure.

Me: (rendezvous) Right, would you mind telling me what that afternoon of utter sass was all about?

Hank: (shoulders drop, face saddens) Sorry.

Me: That wasn’t the why, (sitting on my bed and gesturing for him to join me) reserve that sorry until after you justify your actions.

Hank: (flopping on the bed) But Euclides was sassy.

Me: Indeed, he was. Euclides is also fourteen, not that that is an excuse and this is exactly why we are having this conversation. There is absolutely no need for you to mimic anyone else. Just because Euclides is in full-on teenage angst doesn’t make it cool and certainly doesn’t mean you need to join him. Sass and sarcasm on a rare occasion can be funny but mostly it is just disrespectful and insincere.

Hank: (face nearly imbedded in a pillow, muffled) Sorry.

Me: Thank you for saying sorry. Please don’t try to be like anyone else you are more than enough. You are special and the boy we all want to hang out with. Don’t lose sight of who you are. Just be you. Stay that way your whole life and you will stay way ahead of the game and trust me people will know you are cool. Okay?

Hank: Okay. I’m sorry I was so sassy.

Me: Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn’t it?

Hank: Now that I think about it my stomach hurts.

Me: That is your whole body reminding you to just be you. Would you like some tea? That will sooth your belly.

Hank: Yes, please and some books. Stories are medicine.

Me: Truth.