<moominbrag>Lizard Breath: “Moom, thank you for paying for me to go to this college. There are so many kids whose parents can’t or won’t help them.” That was the general gist. I don’t remember the exact words.

I do not make a habit of bragging about my daughters. My parents didn’t brag about me, even on the rare occasions that I managed to put my head on straight and do something worth bragging about. They believed it was in bad taste and I agree. But as bad a year as it has been for the Fin family, some people have been pretty successful. I was reminded of that today when we made a quick little vee-hickle swapping trip to kzoo and had lunch with our kids.

So I am going to brag about them a bit. Not that they have made any major accomplishments in recent days. I’m talking about how they conduct their lives in general. There are so many kids who go off to college and wash out in one way or another. Party until they flunk all their classes and drop out. Or whatever. Not my kids. They are responsible people who study hard to achieve academic success. They participate in life, trying new things and taking leadership roles where they have expertise. They are independent thinkers who form their own opinions, largely uncolored by anything we may have tried to beat into their brains. They maintain a positive attitude even on the days when life decides to throw one of those inevitable pieces of crap at them. And they care about their family and friends more than they care about fame and fortune.

Yes, little lizard, it is an expensive college. Even though we aren’t paying anywhere near the full tuition price, we are far from wealthy and it is hard to write those checks. Somehow we are managing and I am glad we can. My heart goes out to those parents who are struggling a bit more than we are and I say BAH HUMBUG to those who can pay but won’t. It is a good college and you girls have proven that you are worth every last bloomin’ penny. You go, girls. I love you.</moominbrag>

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