Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

If I Were President of All of The Things

My fifth grade autobiographyIn fifth grade, along with the rest of my class, I made an autobiography. I still have it. It’s frayed and yellowed and falling apart, but I have it. There were pages for family history, special interests, and travel. One of the pages was reserved for goals. In mine, I said that when I grow up, I would like to be

  1. A horse race judge
  2. A magician
  3. The first lady on the moon
  4. The first lady president, or
  5. A vet.

The thing is, I don’t think that back then I really wanted to be the first woman president, even though it’s the only job listed that I provided a visual aid for.

Fifth grader who wants to be president

Guess my drawing skills have always kinda sucked. I traced that president logo thing.

I’m pretty sure that I included that particular job as a goal because it sounded lofty and important and in elementary school, I was still all for ass-kissing, following the rules, and getting good grades.

Today, there’s no way I’d want to be the President of the United States. Talk about a stressful job. Numbnuts and crazies all over the world are killing people. Men, women, and children are starving on streets mere blocks from some of the wealthiest homes, and, as President, you have to look presentable almost all the time. Probably not the very best job for me.

FindingNinee with Lyle Alzado

This is my brother and I with Lyle Alzado back when he played for the Broncos. We were cool. Also, I just got really bummed – looked Lyle up to be sure I spelled his name right and found out he died a long time ago…

I still think it’d be cool to be a magician. Anyway, even though I have no desire to be President of the US, I do think it’d be pretty cool to be like, the President of The Universe, Time, and Nature or something like that. The President of All The Things. That could be pretty awesome. Think about it.

Stuck in traffic? No problem! Poof the other cars to the other lane, or, better yet, fly or teleport where you need to go.

It is of course tempting to say that I’d be able to eat a kazillion nachos and never gain weight, that I’d never feel tired or overwhelmed, that I’d not see the point to giving my wrinkles The Finger in the mirror… but I recognize the danger in tampering with time and space and calories.

Imma be president of all the things

If I were the President of All The Things, there is some stuff I’d like to change and to do. Here are some of them.

I’d grant everybody the power to see that we’re more alike than different. Special needs kids and kid kids are just kids. Their mamas are just mama-ing and parenting. It’s mostly the same.

That our religions and our Gods are beautiful and important and mostly meaningful and that the rules were made by men. That we’re mortal and flawed and that fighting over the differences in our beliefs is the same as hate – the opposite of God and community and The Point of It.

Everybody would know, without a doubt, that they are perfectly imperfect, exactly as they are. Crooked smiles, big ears, fat butts, ugly toes and self doubt. We’re all okay. Better than okay even. Perfectly imperfect.

While I wouldn’t change who my little boy is, I’d give him the power of clearer language. Not because he really needs it to be who he will become but because I know that when somebody asks him to repeat himself, that it is frustrating and makes him feel icky.

I’d definitely make it so that nobody ever feels icky about himself.

Friends. I’d make sure everybody has the type of friends that they need in all of the situations and alonenesses they need them in. Cruelty would not exist outside things like three snow days being a lot of snow days.

I’d make Our Land happen. A place where empathy and wonder rule. I’d remind myself that how I spend my next five minutes matters. That how I speak to myself is important and that how I interact with the world matters, and that how I interact with my little boy is my legacy. 

You want to know the very best part?

I am already The President of All The Things.

President of all the things

We all are.
Because it starts here. With us. At home, and with ourselves.

Each of us has the power and the bravery to accept ourselves.

We are allowed to have compassion for others, even when what they’re doing looks broken from our tiny worldview. We are allowed to change the world and to change ourselves and how we see it. Now.

We’re able to have empathy. Wonder. We’re allowed to see the beauty through the darkness and to have laughter and light.

With deep breaths and deep love, we can change the ourselves. We can change the world.

It starts here. I’m game for trying, anyway.

Want to join me?


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, where writers and bloggers each finish a sentence, and link up. This week’s sentence is “You should vote for me for president because…”
Your hosts:
Me (Finding Ninee)
Cohosts are Michelle at Crumpets and Bollocks (the sentence thinker upper) and Anna from Fitfunner. Want to know about joining? Join our Facebook page for updates.

  • don - I don’t want to join because it sounds like a lot of work, but if the pay is good enough, I’ll listen. Also, before I panned down I was all, “holy crap, Kristi’s dad looks EXACTLY like Lyle Alzado!!!” Lol. I guess I was sort of right.

    I wish you well in your pursuit of Our Land and making this shitty world a better place to be. I could get behind that, and not in a doggy style sort of perverted way either. Gosh, have I gone too far now? Lol Okay, by for now, dear.January 8, 2015 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Awesome that you knew who Lyle was. I was all bummed out when I googled him and saw he died so young and thought it was because of steroids and stuff when it was like brain cancer (which was maybe from steroids who knows). Sad though. You already make the world a better place to be ya know? I mean for real. Doing Don stuff and doing the cop thing – you make the world better. And hahah to getting behind that either way. Here’s to making the world better in all the ways.January 8, 2015 – 11:43 pmReplyCancel

      • jaklumen - Well, the Wikipedia article says he was one of the first athletes to admit using steroids, and I do remember that he decided to be an advocate AGAINST steroid use. I remember he appeared in an ABC Back to School special as such, in a story that featured a slightly older Peter Billingsley as a character abusing steroids in high school. (Billingsley is a producer for actors like Vince Vaughn today; a long shot away from his A Christmas Story and Messy Marvin for Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup days.)

        Lyle reminded me of some professional wrestlers of his day; aside from his known temper on the field, his anger and aggression seemed like an act to me. I mean, the photo you’ve shared– his eyes seem to say to me, “I am honestly a man that cares.” What an honor that you got to meet him.January 11, 2015 – 1:07 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Jaklumen, it’s my understanding that he believed that his brain cancer was caused by his steroid use and yeah, you’re right that he became a huge advocate agains their use, which is great. I didn’t see those movies but agree that it was a true honor to meet him. He was nice to my brother and me for the few minutes we got to speak to him 🙂January 11, 2015 – 8:14 pmReplyCancel

  • April Grant - I wouldn’t want to run for President either. The job looks horrible! I would love if we had more understanding towards each other!January 8, 2015 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - President’s job does look horrible and yeah, I hope that we can all have more understanding! For ourselves and everybody else. Somehow.January 8, 2015 – 11:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I will totally join you and seriously if I could vote for president I would seriously vote for you my friend! And I loved the flashback photos – awesome 🙂January 9, 2015 – 3:03 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - “Want to join me?”

    I’m in like Flynn! I’m working on changing the world for the better each day; it makes me smile to see you along side!!!

    Hugs!!!!!!!!January 9, 2015 – 3:38 amReplyCancel

  • Ripped Jeans & Bifocals - You, my friend, are fucking brilliant. I hope there is no rule in Our Land against the F-Bomb (pretty sure there isn’t) and I am all for what doesn’t make me feel icky about myself…because that happens a lot around here. You make me smile and shit.January 9, 2015 – 3:42 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - “Each of us has the power and the bravery to accept ourselves.” You know that’s something I’m really trying to work on. You are right – we are ALL imperfect, yet perfect at the same time. Even me. And you. And Tucker. And everyone. I think you would be a great President of all the things and I would absolutely join you!January 9, 2015 – 5:57 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Lisa. Here’s to us knowing we’re going to accept ourselves more freely this year and always!January 9, 2015 – 6:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - I haven’t got anything actually SENSIBLE to say. But I was here, and I read this and liked it.January 9, 2015 – 7:09 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - Amen sister:). I have never wanted to be president, and therefore could not think of anything to write about – other than I would make it a law that bookstore had to always exist. And a minimum reading requirement for all:)…and then I’d repost my Favorite Books of 2014, from the day before. How lame is that?!?!?January 9, 2015 – 7:40 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - A law that a bookstore always needs to exist is a pretty good one! And yeah, I didn’t know what to write either… it’s not lame at all – I loved your end of year best books post!January 9, 2015 – 7:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - This rocks Krisit! Looks like you are going to have a fantastic 2015. I’m glad I’m coming along for the ride.January 9, 2015 – 11:24 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Linda! I want to go along with you for your (airplane) rides!!! 🙂January 9, 2015 – 7:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Valerie Newman - Gee, Kristi. I thought you were a pretty good artist back then. A mother is always the President of All Things. I agree, President of the USA, or any country, is a job I wouldn’t want for real. Great post.January 9, 2015 – 12:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - You are brilliant, Madam President! Very well said and well taken. Signed, the President of My UniverseJanuary 9, 2015 – 12:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to us being presidents of our universes! Happy 2015 Elizabeth!!!January 9, 2015 – 7:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - I love you and all of your things.
    Boobs too.
    Cause I’m a pervert.January 9, 2015 – 1:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love you too and especially for saying that you love my boobs because it’s really about time that somebody did here on this blog.January 9, 2015 – 7:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Those childhood pics are awesome…you were such a cute little blonde! 🙂 And, I wanted to be a vet too…but never President. I’m with you – way too much work and stress and if I couldn’t wear yoga pants on most days, it just wouldn’t work for me. But, yeah president of all the things sounds right to me – I’m in!January 9, 2015 – 1:44 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHA to the pics Emily and thanks for ignoring my pants that were way too small by then but my favorite forever. Yay for president of all the things!! 🙂January 9, 2015 – 8:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim - I think you are a great person for President of any and all things!!! I’m with you – no desire to be President of the US but I like being President (or maybe Queen:) at home!!! I think that if everyone respected others for their uniqueness life would be so much better!!!January 9, 2015 – 2:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yup. Queen (or president) at home works just fine!!! And yeah, I wish everybody would respect one another and realize we’re unique but more the same than not ya know?January 9, 2015 – 8:14 pmReplyCancel

  • A. J. Goode - This is beautiful! Thank you so much for reminding us that we can all be in charge of ourselves and how we see the world. Great post!January 9, 2015 – 4:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Your brother is pretty cute.
    And I think your tracing is just fine!
    I often talk about how it would be if I ruled the world, as the President of the Universe. Gosh, it would be a lot of fun. For you all.
    I’d probably be stressed at making everyone happy, which is pretty much how my real life is anyway, without any of the perks.January 9, 2015 – 6:55 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHAH to my brother being cute 🙂 He’ll like that. Gah to being stressed about making everybody happy without the perks. Read the part that we’re all enough as we are m’kay? Because you ARE.January 9, 2015 – 8:15 pmReplyCancel

  • JT aWalters - Fucking hysterical and touching! Rules are made for men and women are the womb of civilization!

    I am with you!! But you know this!

    I do not know how to do your finish the sentence but here is my try. You should vote for me for president because I can teach you love is the most power catalyst in the universe. But you have to start with loving yourself first. Bigotry and discrimination is a projection of what people hate about themselves.January 9, 2015 – 8:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - JT YES bigotry and discrimination is crap and not about the people they’re hating on. Maybe they all need to remember they are President of All Their Things!January 9, 2015 – 8:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandra - This is a great link up. I’m recently returned to the blogging world, making my way back to the bloggers who gave me so much hope and picked me up when I didn’t feel like I wanted to. I love this post. I would like to eat a kazillion nachos without gaining weight, but you’re right, that’s not really helping anyone. But kindness; taking five minutes to make a difference is so true. I work in an occupation where I see how little time it takes to make someone breathe a sigh of relief, and when I feel low and want to feel sorry for myself, I remember those sighs of relief. Wonderful post.January 10, 2015 – 1:48 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hi Sandra,
      As far as the link-up, it’s open until Sunday at noon if you’d like to join and I host it each week. It used to be a lot bigger but we took a break and it’s just building back up. It’s great though – very interactive and supportive. All the linkers are great about hopping around to everybody’s post. Here’s to giving five minutes to helping somebody breathe a sigh of relief… and I look forward to getting to know you better!January 10, 2015 – 7:26 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - ***Perfectly imperfect***

    Yep, sounds like me.

    Kick Ass, Gorgeous piece, Kristi.

    Your “WORDS” are NEVER empty. xxxJanuary 10, 2015 – 10:46 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Kim. Here’s to 2015 and no empty words. Except when they need to be which is probably never right?? xxoo.January 10, 2015 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Lyle looks like someone who would have been on a Wheaties box. He looks familiar.

    Ugly toes made me LOL! I can doctor mine up pretty good for the summer butt OMG to them right now.

    Let’s have a vision that Our Land is possible in our lifetime, no matter who is President. I had to laugh at Don’s comment. I have to agree that you’ve loaded up your plate!January 10, 2015 – 11:27 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I don’t know if he was on a Wheaties box or not but he probably could have been!! He was kinda a big deal football player back when…
      HAHAH to you having ugly toes in the winter. Mine are pretty much ugly all the time, even when I doctor them up. The second one is too short and a little under the first and I’ve always ALWAYS hated it… dumb though right because TOES!!!
      and Yeah, Don. 🙂January 10, 2015 – 11:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Darcy Perdu (So Then Stories) - Damn, girl – I love your list!
    I’m definitely voting for you as President of All Things!!January 10, 2015 – 12:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - I loved your drawings, Kristi Rieger Campbell. Are they seriously the ones you drew as a kid? Wow! you have maintained them well…i dunno where all mine are 🙁

    On the other side…you are so right about being a president in so many things in our respective lives…sometimes I also crack upon thy responsibilities…lol

    Have a good weekend!January 10, 2015 – 8:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - You could not pay me enough to be president. Even president of the PTA. Silly, I know – but I’ve been asked multiple times. I don’t like the buck to stop with me; I like someone else ahead of me. Is that horrible? Probably, but it’s the truth. I’m happy to be VP though, so if you need a VP of all things, let me know.January 11, 2015 – 1:54 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - UGH to the PTA president! That sounds almost as bad as the US president. I think I’d be okay with deciding on the buck but not at listening to everybody whine and disagree with me 😉
      You can be my VP any day!January 11, 2015 – 8:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKenzie - I’ll join you! Beautifully put. You’ll make a fine president.January 12, 2015 – 2:19 amReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - Lyle Alzado was a big deal. Remember that Orange Crush defense? I was just thinking about it … that all these years later, I can name so many players. Louis Wright, Steve Foley, Rubin Carter, Tom Jackson, Lyle Alzado … and how sad was it to see him wind up in silver and black?

    As for the rest of this … I went 17 different places as I read you. Yes, we’re in charge of it, aren’t we?

    Everybody would know, without a doubt, that they are perfectly imperfect, exactly as they are. Crooked smiles, big ears, fat butts, ugly toes and self doubt. We’re all okay. Better than okay even. Perfectly imperfect.

    I’ve gotten a better grip on imperfection. Of stopping the noise from polluting all good things. Of knowing the days of feeling inadequate won’t ever go away, but I can learn to navigate them being kind to myself.

    I’ve said too much here, and I’m sorry about that. But thank you for the words you used here to get right to how I felt. And for inspiring me with how you’d lead.

    You have my vote.January 13, 2015 – 1:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I so so so remember Orange Crush. I remember when Craig Morton went to the superbowl and we lost… and going to school the next day with friends saying “we’re number two!” and just being bummed. I didn’t enjoy watching football as much in 3rd grade but totally remember watching the playoff game that led up to it and loving it… and the crap of us sucking then. I also grew up living next door to Winston Hill – do you remember him? He was retired by the time I met him but he came to my wedding and so many of my work colleagues that were older than I was were in line to meet him. Such an honor for sure.
      Also you can never say too much here. Let’s make a little Old Mile High pact that we have to have to have to stop the noise from messing with the Good Things. That we can be kind to ourselves even when we want to punch ourselves in the faces. Deal?January 13, 2015 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

      • [email protected] - Norris Weise came to the Greeley Mall to sign autographs that year. Remember him? He was Craig Morton’s backup. We had all the Orange Crush T-shirts, one that said, “Rolling to the Dome,” and then Dallas smacked them.

        It’s a deal. Kind to ourselves. I like that.January 14, 2015 – 8:23 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - I wish I had an Orange Crush t-shirt now and I vaguely remember Norris Weise. How cool that you got to meet him and yeah, Kind to ourselves.January 15, 2015 – 7:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - It certainly seems to be a fun job though I would probably be drunk with power…or just drunk by Day 2!!January 14, 2015 – 7:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Kristi Rieger Campbell FOR PRESIDENT!!!! I would vote for you. I like what you’d do… <3January 15, 2015 – 4:13 amReplyCancel

  • Jhanis - Oh, yes! So with you on this one!January 15, 2015 – 5:22 amReplyCancel

  • Meredith - Ummm, I’d totally nominate you to be president of all the things if it meant I could eat nachos for every meal and never gain weight. Seriously, my favorite food!January 15, 2015 – 10:18 amReplyCancel

  • Pattie Thomas - I lurves ya, Kristi. Your compassion, empathy, and wonder at all the things never ever fails to remind me to pay it forward in my daily doings.January 15, 2015 – 1:14 pmReplyCancel

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