I remember when I was 12 I tried to initiate a game with a friend when we were swimming down by First Bridge. The idea was that we'd pretend to be very stupid and do idiotic things. I thought it'd be great fun. My friend emphatically did not and punctuated her opinion by splashing me with a lot of frigid salty water. At the time I felt hurt and misunderstood. 25 years later, I think I finally see her point. My sisters and I were always very sarcastic growing up. We just really liked ironic humor and pointing out each other's foibles in a good natured way was just how we rolled, but while childhood teasing about inconsequential things didn't mean anything, as we got older and had more responsibility, the sarcasm took on a greater weight of negativity. Teasing my younger sister about her room being an epic mess, when we had a housekeeper and mom would just go in once a year with a trash bag...eh. Making fun of my studio apartment in the New York City halo for being "sketchy"...well, it's what I could afford and it was close to work and honestly it's what allowed me to put away a lot of savings, so I could quite my stressful job and move in with my fiancé. It's sarcasm that had gone from fun to hurtful. Bringing up the time I made Boring Chicken and my poor cooking skills of my teenage years, allowed me no room to show how much I had grown as home chef. Instead of allowing me to have pride in my hard earned accomplishment, it just trapped me in the role of my teenage self. Sarcasm had gone from fun to limiting. So, maybe that friend all those years ago was right, that pretending to not be smart, even in a game, wasn't good for our self esteems or confidences. It's easy to fall into old habits, to tease my children about the talents they don't have, be it singing or an ability to pick up accents, but I'm trying not to. I'm going to try to raise them in an environment without negativity and I think sarcasm, while it may seem harmless, puts down roots that eventually just lead to putting each other down. I want to teach my children to lift other people up, that we can all grow and change together, not to get ahead by pushing others down.