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The comic that parents need to see before they embark on Thanksgiving.

"I have a plan, but then real life as a parent happens."

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

Though the food is incredible, it’s not the main reason I love this holiday.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving because I get to be with my family, play games, work as a team to make a delicious feast, and reflect upon the things I am grateful for in my life. This vacation time, coupled with fun and my end-of-year gratitude recap, gives me a boost I can use to propel me through the next holiday and into the new year.


Maybe I’m overly optimistic about how the holiday festivities will go, but I always look forward to the potential for these beautiful family moments each and every Thanksgiving.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

The thing I do tend to overlook in my “fantasy of the perfect family Thanksgiving” is that the experience of Thanksgiving as a parent tends to have some unexpected elements that add to the unpredictability of the holiday. This is because though I would love to plan every single moment with how I can possibly prevent dealing with explosive tantrums and insurmountable frustration, I can’t.  

So, as a parent, approaching the uncontrollable events and emotions means being more fluid than runny gravy and dealing with these changes as they occur.

For instance, I always just assume that traveling to see my family will go smoothly, easily, quickly — only to realize that the assumption itself is a delusion. Though sometimes our drive has gone smoothly and we have arrived on time and unscathed, this is not a frequent event.

How it often goes is that we frantically pack and rush to leave only to hit terrible traffic where time and space seem to meld together into a standstill and walking starts to seem like a faster mode of transportation. The slow-moving mass of steel and exhaust starts to feel claustrophobic and, soon, an antsy child erupts. As a parent who has suffered through previous child meltdowns incurred by everything from forgetting toys to being overwhelmed and hungry while traveling, I try to plan for this by packing and overpacking. But it’s always difficult to foresee exactly what my child will be satisfied with and how long the distraction will last.

The same goes for meal and holiday preparation. I have a plan, but then real life as a parent happens.

This means sometimes my adorable little offspring distracts me from staying on task.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Once the juggling of impeccably timed baking coalesces into a picture-perfect meal, we all sit down with the expectation of relaxing as we calmly eat and express our gratitude. And as a non-parent, dinner seems to align with this expectation in this order: sit down, eat, and then talk over dessert.

However, as a parent, the meal goes just a bit differently and is usually accomplished with more whim than that of drunken fraternity BBQ.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

After dinner, our intention is good: enjoy our chance to be together by playing games and sharing stories.

Yet, usually, that intention gets cut short by a food-induced coma. Then, with full stomachs and heavy eyelids, we pack up game pieces and pile on top of each other to watch a movie.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

All in all, an idealized Thanksgiving is just that: ideals.

The ability to enjoy reality lies behind the intention of the love shared by being together, whether it all works out anything like my strategically fantasized plan or I decide to just wing it, go with the flow, and enjoy reality.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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