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My Advice? Be a Good Painted Lady.

Our society is obsessed with advice.

Almost everyone is looking somewhere for guidance in some particular area. What’s the best smart phone to buy? What is the proper age to start potty training a toddler? What’s the best smart phone to buy for a potty-trained toddler?

And for every person seeking advice, there are a hundred people willing to dole it out. In this age of social media, experts lie in wait at every sign-in.

Well, all those experts need to step away from the keyboard and learn a little something from David. He’s a second grader, and as part of a class project, he wrote this letter to one of the butterflies that his class raised and was preparing to release.

Advice doesn’t get any better than this.

Dear C. Junior,

Hi. I hope you are warm and cozy in your cocoon and don’t get eaten when you come out of your cocoon as a butterfly.

Stay away from spiders, mice, praying mantises, fire ants, birds, frogs, and snakes.

Be a good painted lady.

Your Friend,

David S.

In other words:

  1. Just stay in your cocoon.
  2. Because it’s not if you’ll be devoured, it’s when.
  3. Did I mention there’ll be fire ants?
  4. Don’t be a floozy.

And if you’re wondering, the best smart phone to buy is the one with the potty-training app for toddlers.


Thanks to Amy for sharing her son’s wise words; David certainly seems to have his mom’s knack for writing. Our advice? Go check out Amy’s site Life from the Trenches. You’ll be glad you did.


And speaking of advice, we have a writing assignment for you and your child.

‘Tis the season of graduations. Hordes of graduating seniors are leaving their cocoons as emerging adults and heading out to face life’s praying mantises. So ask your son or daughter:

What is the most important part of being an adult?

Send us what your writing prodigy comes up with. We’ll feature the best responses on the blog, and everyone who replies to the prompt by Memorial Day will be entered in a drawing for a Starbuck’s gift card. Because adult lesson number one is that caffeine is essential.


UPDATE: Sometimes life just isn’t that funny.

I saw a headline on the Internet yesterday saying something about a tornado in Missouri. I thought to myself, “Amy and her family live in Missouri.”

They live in Joplin, Missouri, to be exact.

Just received this email from Amy:

Sorry for not responding and sharing like normal. Joplin, MO and our home were hit hard by a tornado yesterday. It’s truly horrible down here. We were able to get the kids out to my parents – it’s not safe in our area. Keith and I are in a hotel (no power, water) but a roof, which is more than we can say for our house. Vehicles, boats, trees – all gone.

Here’s a link to an article about the devastation in Joplin from The New York Times website.

Amy, our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and the people of Joplin.