Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday – I Was Thinking….


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Today I am deeply grateful for all the people who “think too much.” Because it seems to me that most people think entirely too little. © Racheal Lee Bradford


Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday-Little Man on the Effectiveness of Advertising

Bubble Gum Ad
Image from Pinterest

“On the prow of the wagon, in an attempt to attract business among the Quarterites, Ignatius taped a sheet of Big Chief paper on which he had printed in crayon: TWELVE INCHES (12) OF PARADISE. So far no one had responded to its message.” –A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

As Little Man and I were barricaded in our home today due to Snowmageddon, we had to find ways to fill what would otherwise have been a normal Monday. I opted for work, laundry and cooking, while Little Man opted for movies and You Tube. At some point late in the afternoon, he shared one of his comical observations that always make me deeply grateful that I am his mother:

LM: I just saw something that changed the way I will see advertising for the rest of my life.

Me: What’s that, schmoopie?

LM: I saw a woman’s boob in an ad. The ad was about gum.

And it begins…. © Racheal Lee Bradford

Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday-What Really Matters

Mother With Her Son
Mother With Her Son, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1874

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” –Eckhart Tolle

I am grateful that I woke up this morning and Little Man was sleeping safely and soundly in his bed. No, I wasn’t grateful for the few extra minutes of silence before the day switched into full gear. It was because the parents of one of his classmates had the opposite experience. They woke up this morning with the most devastating knowledge that they would never again see their son sleeping safely and soundly in his bed.

A thought I can barely even complete in my own mind.

I’ve never met those parents, as their child was in another grade and didn’t have much interaction with Little Man. Yet, my heart breaks for them as if we’d been best friends our whole lives. All of the silly things I’d been fretting over that morning-as important as they had seemed at the time-became as meaningless as the losing lottery tickets still tucked away in my purse. Nothing much mattered after that besides the knowledge that I would be able to hug my own son that evening.

Their tragic news brought into High Definition focus what really matters. The last few months have included a lost job, a dear friend’s serious illness and the disappointing end to a promising relationship. And each of these things mattered very much.

But today, I got to hear Little Man laugh.

And for that, I am humbly, reverently and eternally grateful. © Racheal Lee Bradford

Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday-You Make Me Sick…And Skinny


“Despicable Me 2” image from

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” –Marlene Dietrich

Having just spent the last several days in a medicine-induced stupor with neither a voice nor an ability to eat anything without a violent protest from my stomach, it occurred to me that I am grateful for illnesses that help me to lose a pants’ size in a weekend without having to jog. I’ve now sneezed several times into a jar and plan to bust this monster virus out again after the holidays. With any luck, it will mutate by then into a new and improved version that also gets rid of wrinkles and cellulite.

And on that note, I am also grateful for lifelong friends who will travel from another town to hang out with you during said illness, despite the fact that there is a good chance you’ll yak on them at some point. Those friends are awesome.

Finally, I am grateful for Jason Bateman. Because he is just beautiful. © Racheal Lee Bradford

Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday–Happy Birthday Little Man

Little Man newborn
“Before you cross the street, take my hand…
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.” –John Lennon

The other night, as I was tending to the business of getting lunch and school clothes ready for the next day, I eavesdropped overheard Little Man’s conversation with not one, but three little girls. At first I smiled and chuckled to myself at the cuteness of the awkward, youthful first phones calls with “girls.” But the chuckles were quickly replaced with tears, as I realized that everything is about to change. And rapidly.

You see, Little Man will be 11 in just a few days. And with that comes many bittersweet changes to our lives as we’ve known them. Soon, the company of buddies and the opinions of 11-year-old girls will matter far more than that of mom’s. I will soon become “uncool” and an infringement on his suddenly-much-needed privacy.

I realize that I am completely un-unique in this respect. Billions of parents have experienced this same sense of sadness for their own little ones’ transitions from cuddly child to big person. And I appreciate how very lucky I am to be able to marvel at the person he is growing to be. He’s had some truly challenging times, yet carries within him a compassion, a sense of wonder and a joie de vivre that I’ve encountered in very few people. And that makes my heart smile.

And yet, part of me mourns the five-year-old that I can now only visit in my memories. The child who wanted nothing more than to snuggle with me on the sofa and watch a movie. Soon, I will only be able to smell his hair and tickle his belly in my daydreams…because it will be “totally whack” to do that when he’s 15 and with his friends. I know our cuddling days are numbered, and I dread the day I hear “mom, is it ok if I go to the movies with Brittany?” *sigh.

However, as he grows and becomes, more and more, who he is meant to be, I am profoundly thankful and grateful that this beautiful soul chose to share his journey with me. That I have been the lucky recipient of his laughter and smiles, his wonderful hugs and his many “I love you’s.” So in a few days, while he’s eating cake and receiving birthday wishes and presents, I will be celebrating the gift of him. And that is truly worth more to me than anything else could ever have been.

Happy birthday, Little Man. I love you. © Racheal Lee Bradford

Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday–Attack of the Pumpkin Spice

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“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” –Aldous Huxley

I was going to dedicate this blog entry to Little Man, as I was feeling particularly sentimental, and he fills me every day with more gratitude than I could ever have imagined feeling prior to him.

But then I went to Starbucks. And then the grocery store. And then the pizza shop.

I don’t know who, exactly, decided that, once summer is officially over, absolutely EVERYTHING has to be pumpkin-flavored, but can we please end this shit?

On that note, today I am grateful for the handful of people who understand that not everything should be pumpkin-flavored. As it is, I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie. So I don’t want a pumpkin spice latte, I don’t want pumpkin-flavored hummus, and I don’t even know how one would make a pumpkin pizza. But, I will warn you, that the first person who offers me pumpkin-flavored bacon will be punched in the ear (I was going to say another body part, but Little Man informs me that that would be “very, very rude.”)

I am also grateful that that Nickelback shit seems to have finally died down. Because they are just awful. © Racheal Lee Bradford

Gratitudes and Platitudes-Finale?


“My life needs editing.” –Mort Sahl

I thought that I would be thrilled once my gratitude posts promise to my friend was fulfilled, and I could get back to the business of snark and self-absorption. But, it turns out that I’ve had so much fun with these that I’ve decided to declare Mondays as “Gratitudes and Platitudes Monday” on Rachealizations. At least until the zombies eat my face or I get bored.

Speaking of zombies, as Halloween nears, I am grateful for neighbors who understand that this holiday is not the time to make a public statement about healthy eating choices. Because that shit’s just wrong. Be warned, treat-givers, that giving a child a bag of carrots for Halloween is an open invitation to a flaming pile of dog crap on your porch. Or so I’ve heard.

I am also grateful that I am not Bill O’Reilly. Because I’m just not flexible enough to walk around with my head up my ass like that.

Finally, I am grateful for auto-correct. Because it makes my text messages way funnier than they would otherwise be. Texting your boss to “please shit down my laptop,” might not put you on the fast-track for a promotion, but it can certainly make your weekly meetings more interesting.

My mother has now officially disowned me after this post. © Racheal Lee Bradford