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It's like jogging on the inside

Dec. 1, 2008

by Jen Bakken

This column pretty much puts my children and me out there for all of Delano to read, and occasionally I wonder why I write some of the things I do. (And I know my children sometimes shudder when they realize what has been revealed about them in the newspaper.)

I guess I try to write about what I know and attempt to find the humorous side of everyday life as a mom.

My hope is that there is at least one person out there who can relate to these little stories, and if I can bring a smile to someone’s face, or make them laugh – even better.

Ivan Raconteur is leagues above me with his column, “Curmudgeon’s Corner.” I can’t write about taxes, politics, or most of the topics he can. I just don’t feel knowledgeable or opinionated enough to add humor to those subjects like he does. There is no point in trying. Ivan is awesome, and I think he can make any topic interesting!

Mark Ollig writes about technology in his column “Bits & Bytes,” and, honestly, my fifth grader probably knows more about computers than I do. There again, not a subject I could tackle.

The “Kids Connection” column is by Jenni Sebora. As a teacher and a parent, she has wonderful suggestions on subjects involving children.

I, on the other hand, have been known to, on occasion, shove a cold Pop Tart at my kids as we rush out the door in the morning. I’ve been known to, on occasion, call my dad to help the kids with their homework out of shear frustration – or laziness.

Matt Kane, the sports editor whose column is “High and Outside,” obviously is far more equipped to write about sports than I ever could. In fact, I have never watched an entire football game, and my boys are still trying to explain how the errors work in baseball.

Marlene Muckenhirn’s column “Morsels with Marlene” has recently added a “yummy” touch to our paper. She really knows her stuff, but again, it’s not a subject I could tackle.

Admittedly, I am just not in the same league as any of these great people who write columns for Delano Herald Journal. Really, all I am is a mom sharing her stories. Some of these tiny tales may be a bit embarrassing, but I’m hoping there is someone out there who can relate to them.

Maybe you aren’t willing to admit the secrets of your sectional sofa, like I did last week, but, just maybe, you were once surprised by what was lurking under your cushions.

Maybe you don’t want all of Delano to know that you struggle to help your children with math, but, just maybe, you also had no clue what the Lattice Method in multiplication was, or forgot how to use a protractor.

Maybe you’ve been frustrated with your kids fighting in the back seat, have threatened to pull over – and then had no idea what to do next.

Maybe you also wish you had a penny for every time the kids have yelled, “AHHHH, I am so mad!” or “This is the worst day ever!” so that you could afford the best wine from Woodland Hill Winery and a padded room just for temper tantrums. (Yours and the children’s).

Maybe you’ve reached into your purse for lip gloss only to realize you pulled out a bright fushia marker just before you applied it to your lips.

And, maybe, if you can’t relate to a single thing in any of these columns, you can at least find humor in them. Go ahead, laugh at my expense!

As Jan Johnson, a good friend of mine, likes to say, “Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.”