Thank God For Modern Conveniences – How Lucky Our Kids Really Are

Post originally featured on Dot Complicated – by Randi Zuckerberg

Last week while on a trip home from the grocery store, I hit a curb and blew a tire. Upon pulling over, I immediately felt panic starting to set in. Not only did I have two small kids with me, but also hundreds of dollars worth of groceries in my trunk that needed refrigeration.

After running through “what to do next” strategies in my head, it suddenly occurred to me: Wait! I can just press the call button on my rearview mirror and roadside assistance will be here in no time. Next, I accessed the Über App on my iPhone to call a cab and had him take my kids, my husband and the groceries home. Fifteen minutes later a nice gentleman showed up, changed my tire and sent me on my way.

Fifteen years ago this situation would’ve played out very differently. In fact, during my teenaged years I had a blow out on an Interstate Highway on my way to my summer lifeguard job. This, of course, was before cell phones were readily available or affordable, so my plan of action was somewhat different. After I pulled over, I had to walk, over a mile, to the next exit wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and some shorts! True story. I was humiliated to say the least. Once I got to the exit, I then begged a vendor at a flea market to use his phone. He watched me closely as each minute used was very costly back then. Luckily, my brother answered our landline phone and told me he would come help. I gave the vendor $5 and hitched a ride with an elderly couple, who I made promise they wouldn’t kidnap me, back to my car. Several hours later I arrived at work and was greeted by a very angry boss. As a mom now, this story makes me cringe at all the things that could’ve happened to me.


Each day, I read countless articles about how technology is ruining our youth, creating an “I want every thing yesterday” mentality, taking away from real human connections, and making life more difficult. However, I find these accusations to be the furthest from the truth. I believe technology has given us hope with medical advancements, it’s provided opportunities for businesses to grow exponentially, it’s connected us to long lost relatives, friends and strangers, but most importantly it’s given us back time. The last thing I want to do is waste hours of my day on life’s little inconveniences, like flat tires, when I’d much rather be spending that time with my family.

I feel my kids’ generation is quite lucky to be growing up in this age of technological advancement. I love that they’ll never know what it’s like to dial a number on a rotary phone, or have to wait up all night just to record their favorite song off the radio – only to have several seconds of it ruined by a DJ talking. They won’t have to drive to a store to rent a movie and then worry about racking up hundreds of dollars of late fees. They won’t have to carry their entire music collection around in a big heavy case so they can listen to one song at a time on their Walkman’s. They’ll never get lost because everyone has a GPS on their phone. Finally, they’ll have all the knowledge in the world available at their fingertips, rather then spending hours in a library searching through card catalogs or having to utilize the Dewy Decimal System.

Raise your hand if you had the "sport" one!
Raise your hand if you had the “sport” one!

I, for one, chose to embrace change and advancement, and take solace in knowing my kids will never have to walk down a highway to get help – in their bathing suits.












Bigger Than Holly Balls?

For those of you who do not know, my nickname growing up was Hollyballs. Why, you ask? Head out of the gutter people, I think you know the answer: I’m a self-proclaimed lunatic and nothing can stand in my way. My motto in life is: Make it happen. You can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself. I rarely meet people who are similar to me. Most can only handle me in doses. Husband says his life would be totally boring without me, and he’s right! Just saying.

After about 3 months of dating Husband, he took me home to Florida to meet his mom. I was nervous, because not only is Husband an angel, but also he is Cuban. Translation: he has a Cuban mother. We all know Latin women LOVE their sons; they are Gods and can do no wrong. I thought with my type A personality, she would instantly turn into Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law. I was tainting her perfect son, why on earth would she like me?


We arrived pretty late, so I really didn’t have much interaction with her on the first night. She had made the spare room up for his to sleep in there together. WAIT….what? She is letting me sleep in the same room and we are not married? My Southern parents would have put the kibosh on that real quick. OK, so maybe this Cuban woman isn’t that bad. We shall see.

The next morning she calls me out on the lanai (a rich person’s word for patio). I am a beer and hot dog girl from Converse, Texas, but I can clean up nice. As I step outside she has a photo album of Husband’s baby pictures. She says, “I thought I would embarrass him before he wakes up!” Then proceeds with an evil laugh.

Wow this broad may be kinda cool, I’m thinking. As she opens to the first page, it is a picture of her……..birth….to……him! Legit. I immediately BURST into laughter. She continues, “Oh, I’m sure you don’t want to see this, but look at him! He had such big balls as a baby!” I almost fell out of the chair as I say in my head: What the f**k is going on here? At that very moment, Husband walks out as he is sipping coffee and almost spits it out. “Mom, WHAT are you doing?” he yells. She states, “Oh stop it, just having some fun!” Husband turns and goes back inside riddled with embarrassment. She then turns to me and says, “Hey, want to go visit my friend who is a psychic?” “Umm ok,” I reply. I have to say, I knew I loved husband pre – Mrs. Cubana, but meeting her made me want to marry him. Here’s to having awesome mother in laws! Cheers.

It Only Takes One

On a serious note (Me…serious?): I want to take a moment to remind everyone how powerful words are, especially to children.

itonlytakesoneMany times as a child, I felt lost and in need of guidance. I was not someone who saw in myself the confidence and strength that others may have seen in me.

Of the many people who shaped who I am today, one of the first who stands out in particular is my 7th grade teacher, Mr. Kratz. I asked him to sign my end-of-year notebook that all my friends had penned their goodbye notes in. When I got home, I slowly began to comb through all the well wishes and the one that still resonates with me today is the one from him.

What a GEM in a coalmine, you are destined for success. Sincerely, Mr. Kratz.

He may have written that in everyone’s book, but at that moment, I believed him.  Who knew 20 years later, I would still tell myself that when I am facing hardship or feeling discouraged. Teachers: Know that your words do not always fall on deaf ears.

“I am a success today because I had someone who believed in me, and I didn’t have the heart to let them down.” — Abraham Lincoln