1. They know the freckle by their pinky finger is where their cousins live because you teach them state geography by pointing out spots on your hand.
2. Your kids remember the Great Lakes by thinking “HOMES” — Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
3. Summer vacations always end by getting sick on kettle corn at Cedar Point and getting sick on kettle corn at Michigan Adventure.
4. When they start getting curious about Canada, you take them to Belle Isle Park where they can see it across the river.
5. Acting out of line results in: “Do you want to stay with great Aunt Gertrude all summer long on her farm? In the UP? With no wifi?”
6. You sit by the radio through 30 minutes of school closings to figure out that your kids do indeed still have school. It’s -25F and there’s two new feet of snowfall since the night before.
7. That whole “When I was your age I walked 12 miles, uphill, barefoot, in the snow, with a wolf chasing me — in ONE direction to get to school” could actually be mostly true.
8. Your kids know to choose early and to choose well: Michigan State or Michigan.
9. It doesn’t phase you much when your new teenage driver goes 70mph on the freeway in snow. They’ve been trained well that that’s just how it is.
10. The kids are either a die-hard Red Wings fan or you are not part of your family.
11. Instead off allowance, money gets raised by asking for bags of pop cans from peoples’ garages.
12. You plan every Halloween costume to withstand snow, hail and ice and to go well with snow boots and a winter jacket.
13. You rock out together to Kid Rock, Eminem, Madonna, and Ted Nugent.
14. On Thanksgiving you watch the Lions together. They inevitably lose, but it’s tradition.