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Cool fam­ily

I dis­cussed peer pres­sure and cig­a­rettes with my 12-year-old daugh­ter. Hav­ing strug­gled for years to quit, I de­scribed how I had started smok­ing to “be cool.” As I out­lined the ar­gu­ments kids might make to tempt her to try it, she stopped me mi­dlec­ture, say­ing, “Hey, I’ll just tell them my mom smokes. How cool can it be?”

A walk in the woods

One af­ter­noon I was walk­ing on a trail with my new­born daugh­ter, chat­ting to her about the scenery. When a man and his dog ap­proached, I leaned into the baby car­riage and said, “See the doggy?” Sud­denly I felt a lit­tle silly talk­ing to my baby as if she un­der­stood me. But just as the man passed, I no­ticed he reached down, pat­ted his dog and said, “See the baby?”

Ask­ing for help

While tak­ing a rou­tine van­dal­ism re­port at an el­e­men­tary school, I was in­ter­rupted by a lit­tle girl about six years old. Look­ing up and down at my uni­form, she asked, “Are you a cop?” “Yes,” I an­swered, and con­tin­ued writ­ing the re­port. “My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the po­lice. Is that right?” “Yes, that’s right,” I told her. “Well, then,” she said as she ex­tended her foot to­ward me, “would you please tie my shoe?”

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