My Captain, My Captain!

“My Captain, My Captain,” I shouted stepping on top of my coffee table, as I watched Dead Poets Society. “Honestly Peanut,” my mother huffed. “You’re going to wreck the table. Get down!” Jumping down from the table, I sat sulking for the rest of the movie. Why didn’t she understand how much this movie meant to me? From that moment on, Robin Williams was my captain.

Flashback to years earlier, you will find me and my siblings watching Mork and Mindy every week. My brothers trying to drink with their fingers, sitting on their heads, and walking around saying Na-Nu, Na-Nu to all their friends. We named our puppy Mindy Mork, because our mother said that we couldn’t name a girl dog Mork. Still trying to figure out the world as children, Mork gave a voice to our confusion. While my appreciation of Robin Williams began with Mork and Mindy, I became a super fan after Dead Poets Society.

Making sure to watch all of his movies, I loved most of them and respected his talent. Whether playing the irrepressible Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam, or the sensitive and wise Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams had me mesmerized. He draw me in to his world and took me for a ride. Even as the creepy Seymour Parrish in One Hour Photo, he made me sympathize for him.

As great as his movies were, he was my favorite stand-up comedian. His uncontrolled energy, voices and physical comedy kept me laughing from the moment he walked onto the stage until the end; always leaving me wanting more. I still enjoy watching An Evening at the Met and Live on Broadway.

For all of the joy that he brought millions of us fans, I thank Robin Williams. Drawing from his examples of philanthropy, I believe that we can honor him through helping others. Please find the below list of charities that he supported:

Join me in honoring him today by giving to one of them. Make someone else smile today, as he did for many years.


The Bucket List

As soon as I finished my first trimester, I started forming a bucket list of the activities that I wanted to do with my child. The list was quite extensive by the time that my son was born and I couldn’t wait to get started. What I wasn’t prepared for was the wait to start my list. On the first holiday on my bucket list, Easter, he was still just eating and sleeping. It took until Halloween before he was finally ready to start working with me on the bucket list.

His first Halloween he was adorable in a Winnie the Pooh costume, crawling up to the door to say hello to everyone. In between trick or treaters, he played with the bowls of candy. He was more interested in all these strangers visiting him than eating candy.

Because there were still more Halloween activities on my bucket list, I couldn’t wait until the next year. At the top of my list was find the perfect costume. Since I couldn’t decide which costume was perfect, I bought two; a cowboy costume for his party at pre-school and Clifford the Big Red Dog for trick or treating.

Also on my list was a vision of baking cupcakes and allowing the kids to decorate their own cupcakes during class. Sadly, I found out that pre-school children don’t listen to instructions. Didn’t they realize this activity was on my bucket list? Instead of following the instructions for decorating their cupcakes, they put their faces I the cupcakes with frosting on their noses and cheeks. And then there was my little cowboy covered head to toe in frosting. Thank God for the second costume for trick or treating!

After a fun day at school, we went for our first trick or treating. He wasn’t able to walk too far. I spent most of the evening pushing him in his stroller between the houses and carrying him up the stairs to their front doors. He would softly knocked on a door, and look up with his big blue eyes at our neighbors. It was precious! They couldn’t resist him and filled his plastic pumpkin with candy. “You are the cutest Clifford that I have ever seen!” they all exclaimed.

Another item on my bucket list was a Halloween Party, but I waited until kindergarten to invite all of his friends from school to join us for bobbing for apples, do a trick and win a treat, a scavenger hunt, pumpkin decorating and a big cauldron of witch’s punch with floating eyeballs. Checking the home Halloween party off of my list, I moved onto the PTA school Halloween party the following year. What do you get when you combine bouncy houses, games, food, music and dancing with hundreds of elementary school children? Thunderous Chaos! It took me days to recover from the noise and confusion. I’m glad that we have checked that item off my list.

This past year I finally completed my Halloween bucket list. Someone posted on Facebook that our neighborhood was the best place for trick or treating in the area. Car loads of people came to join our quiet neighborhood. It was great! It reminded me of the Halloween fun of my youth. Lots of happy people enjoying the night.

While not everything on my list turned out exactly as I had envisioned it, I have many fond memories that I will always treasure. Since we have just begun my list with Halloween, we will be continuing my bucket list for more holidays in later posts. Join the dialogue by sharing about your bucket list. Bucket lists can include activities from all year round and are not limited to specific holidays. What have you checked off of your list so far? What items are you still looking forward to?