Monthly Archives: July 2013

The SOCKKIDS Meet Lincoln

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It is with great excitement we announce that our first book is ready to be sent to the production company. The SOCKKIDS Meet Lincoln was written by Michael John Sullivan and Susan Petrone. It was illustrated by SugarSnail.

The book contains 23 illustrations and features the white tube sock with blue coloring, Stretch as he timetravels back to the days of Lincoln. We will post when the book is available to purchase. Thanks to everyone for their support!

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Of Bicycles and Inspiring Cliches

I believe that bicycles are the most perfect form of transportation ever invented. While my husband isn’t a cyclist, I’m pleased that my seven-year-old daughter shares my love of two wheels. When she first mastered a two-wheeler sans training wheels, she rode around and around a big empty parking lot, yelling “I love biking!” There’s a lot to love about a bike. It’s the first vehicle most of us ever get to drive, our first taste of genuine autonomy. Walking and running are fine, but a bicycle can take you somewhere.

We have a trail-a-bike that attaches to the seat of my bike and turns it into a tandem. The kid is a great stoker. Sometimes when we’re out on the tandem she’ll say, “Mommy, stop pedaling,” and when I do, I can feel her little legs pedaling away, carrying both of us.

Most the time we attach the trail-a-bike to my old hybrid bicycle and just tool around the neighborhood or go to the swimming pool or to get ice cream. Last summer, we did our first organized ride–a 15-mile ride sponsored by a local university. For that, we hooked the trail-a-bike up to my road bike and we flew. When the ride was over, the kid wasn’t even tired. This year, we went for a bigger challenge. The local JCC held its first community bike ride and festival. The ride lengths were 10, 25, or 50 miles. The kid wanted to do the 25-miler.  And while I’ll routinely do 25 or 30 miles on my own, I wasn’t sure she was up to the distance and the somewhat hilly route. We settled on biking the 6 miles to the JCC, doing the 10-miler, and biking home.

The morning of the ride, we had a nice breakfast with my husband before he went to an all-day golf outing and had a little time to play before we dressed and got our things together. We put on our helmets and pulled the tandem out of the mud room and onto the driveway. Then I looked at the front tire. I had pumped up the tires on the tandem the night before, but somehow, between then and the morning, the front tire had gone flat.  I said a bad word.

“You owe me a quarter,” the kid said. Giving her a quarter each time I say a bad word in front of her was supposed to curb my potty mouth, but all it’s really done is give her something of a nest egg to buy art supplies.

“Yes, I know,” I replied.  “I’ll give it to you later.  I glanced at the clock on the cycle computer. It was  9:00 a.m. “Okay, it’ll take us about 25 or 30 minutes to bike there. The ride starts at 10:00, so if I can change this tire fast, we’ll be fine.” The kid looked at me with one of those all-trusting expressions that makes me feel completely inadequate to her vision of what I am capable and said, “Okay, Mommy.”

You know how sometimes events conspire to make you think perhaps the universe is trying to give you a message? I had one of those moments as I started changing the tire and felt the first rain drop.

“Do you really want to do this ride?” I asked.

“Yes, I want to do it.”

“Have you noticed that it’s kind of raining?”

“I like the rain.”

We (okay, I) got the tire changed and pumped up. We set off as it started to rain harder. After a couple of blocks, it hadn’t let up. I wasn’t feeling the joy of the ride. Not at all.

“Why are we doing this again?” I called over my shoulder.

“Because I want to!”

More rain, a slight uphill, then a little voice from the back of the bike said, “If we believe in ourselves, we can make it.”

In my youth, I watched a lot of television. The number of hours I spent watching crappy Saturday morning kids’ shows and After School Specials and made-for-TV movies is roughly equivalent to the amount of time needed to earn a bachelor’s degree . Enough that hearing a character utter the words “If we believe in ourselves, we can make it” would make me roll my eyes and wonder why they couldn’t find a a screenwriter who didn’t deal in cliches. But hearing those words come out of my child’s mouth as she’s happily stoking away on the back of the tandem, uphill, in the rain? When she said that, the rain stopped, the sun came out, the pavement became smooth and unblemished beneath our tires, and it was downhill both ways.

Okay, none of that happened. What did happen was in that moment, I realized that I don’t always have to be the cheerleader. As a parent, especially as a mother, I sometimes feel that there’s an unwritten law that says Mom needs to keep the peace, keep everyone’s spirits up, and yeah, make dinner and clean up when it’s all over. And sometimes you don’t feel like doing that, just like sometimes you don’t feel like changing a tire and biking in the rain. I realized that I don’t have to do everything.  And I realized how fortunate I was to be riding uphill, in the rain, and feeling her pedaling away behind me, pushing both of us forward.

–by Susan Petrone

Sudsy Interviews An Angel

Pippy’s Wish, written by Maddie Ryan, has become one of the most popular children’s book. Michael John Sullivan has written a review at Amazon.com if you wish to explore the angel world some more. has some questions for Pippy.

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Sudsy, one of the SockKids, recently interviewed Pippy about her adventures.

Sudsy:  Are you really an angel? I’ve never met one before.

Pippy:   Well, right now, I’m an Angel-in-Training because I’m in Junior High, but once I get to High School I’ll be a full fledged Angel and hang out with all the cool flyers.

And you sure have met one or two, maybe even three or four before, only you were probably too busy to notice. You see…I have to stop and concentrate for a minute so I can remember everything I was taught when talking to humans. Wait, you’re not human, you’re a sock, but you talk, so that’s okay, it can apply to talking socks. At least I’m pretty sure it does. I talk to animals and fairies so I’m thinking socks….by the way you have a funny name.

Anyway, in case you haven’t noticed, sometimes I have trouble staying on one topic and I also sometimes have trouble remembering what Lucy…I mean Counselor Lucinda teaches us in class.

Okay, so you want to know if I’m a real Angel? Right? Right.

See, Angels are pure love…not like, I love cupcakes love, or in your case, I love soap-candy love, but love, like in your heart and in your soul. Angels have lots of energy…especially me, at least that’s what I’m told.

I…I mean some Angles can be a bit mischievous, and sometimes, because I…I mean they want to fix things or make things better, but sometimes not everything goes off as planned. Not that this happens to me a lot…actually, I best be in honest…because Angels are pure and honest….yes, it has happened to me.

But please understand I…I mean we don’t mess things up to hurt or cause harm, it’s because I…I mean we are still learning. We are always learning every day and even if we throw a curve ball…by the way, I can play baseball and hockey too…okay, back to what I was saying…even if we throw someone a curve in their life this helps humans deal with all sorts of things in life, and accept things and nudge them to work harder and so they be light…you know, shiny and smiley and loving.

And am I talking too much? Sometimes I tend to go off in all different directions, you can just tell me when I’m doing that or better yet, you better ask another question before something else pops in my head and I go in a different direction.

Sudsy: Can you fly? If so, where do you fly to? Can you fly anywhere?

Pippy: Yes and no and maybe. You see, I sort of can fly with my supersonic skateboard that I invented, but sometimes it doesn’t work as well as it should, and we’re not really supposed to take the skateboard to flying class. I’m learning and hope to earn my teen-Angel wings at graduation real soon and when I do….woo wee…yahoo! Yes, I will be able to fly anywhere.

Sudsy: How old are you? When’s your stitchday? Um, birthday.

Pippy: In human years, I am 12 years old. We’re not stitched, silly-socky, we are created out of energy, light, love and lots of guidance from the other angels that have been hanging around for lots of years. We don’t celebrate birthdays, but we sure love angel food cake, and we celebrate all the children’s birthday’s everyday with lots of smiles and jumping inside their dreams so they can have peaceful sleeps.

Sudsy: Do you have a mom and dad? What are their names?

Pippy: We  have counselors, and teachers and Angels are all friends in a special way that makes us one big family.

Sudsy: Do you have a human to take care of like us? We get to warm smelly feet. What about you?

Pippy:  Once an Angel graduates to High School then that Angel not only can fly and I mean, super-cool flying, we have to wait to learn more lessons to be assigned a charge to take care. As for me, well, you’ll have to read my story in Pippy’s Wish to find out if I ever make it that far.

Don’t worry, Sudsy, I promise, when ever I graduate and get a few charges to take care of, I’ll make sure they wash with pretty smelling soap so their toes will smell heavenly….get it? Heavenly? Then you can warm lilac or peach smelling feet instead of smelly ones.Sudsy: I like to put bugs on humans’ legs. What do you do for fun?

Pippy: I have so many things I do for fun, that sometimes turn into me doing extra chores, because they weren’t so fun for the misadventures I get into, and you’ll have to read Pippy’s Wish to find out what happens.

Sudsy: We get to spin around in a big washer. Do you swim?

Pippy: Never been in the water yet, I’m still trying to keep my head above the clouds without falling off my skateboard. I’m late for flying class a lot, which is why I haven’t mastered it yet. But maybe someday I’ll fly by a mermaid and she can show me how to catch a big wave and go surfacing and deep sea diving to visit her home and see all the ocean beauty way below…actually, maybe I should just stick to learning how to swim first.

Sudsy: What makes an angel special?

Pippy: Wow, Sudsy, you ask hard questions. Let me think. Well, there’s cake and pasta and songs named after us, so I think there is just so many special things about us, we are funny, cute at least I think so, we accept everyone because in our eyes everyone has something good and beautiful about them, and we try real hard to make people’s frowns turn upside down and give them hope when it looks like things are not that hopeful. We do lots of good stuff.Sudsy: Can you have playtime with me? Take me flying?

Pippy: When I’m not in class, that would a lot of fun. I can introduce you to my good friend Noah St. John. He’s so much fun and can help us both with our flying lessons. Then we can play at your place, where you can show me how to spin.

Thank you for visiting with me, Sudsy, you’re cool for a talking sock.