When there’s black Sharpie on your computer screen, you might as well throw your hands in the air.

Nico and his mop

Nico and his mop

I called out the other day from bed, feeling so horribly sick (the worst sick in years) and said to Matt, “Honey? Is there anything you could bring me that would make me feel better?”

As soon as I said this, I knew that there probably was not, but what I was really asking for was his presence, an I’m so sorry you are feeling so bad… but what was so terrible and comical is that he didn’t hear me at all! I saw his figure move across the hallway, iphone earbuds engaged, and the sound of the door closing as he went to pick up Nico at school.

I could make this moment mean something and feel really sorry for myself or I could just laugh and surrender.

That’s how I felt yesterday morning when I heard Nico calling to me: “Mama! You help me? Mama come!”

I wandered into the living room, still doubled over from the stomach flu and saw that he had climbed up on my desk. As I lifted him off, I noticed the marker in his hand and the BLACK SHARPIE covering my computer screen. Yep. You read that right. Black Sharpie all over my beautiful 27″ imac screen. All those irritating smudges from gummy fingers, stray bits of peanut butter and yogurt, seemed like nothing now. Black freaking Sharpie!

But these last few days have clearly been about surrender, about things being as they are and not as I want want them to be.

Like on Wednesday when I had to cancel my very first Storybowl because I was puking my guts out. Even while it was happening I wasn’t sure – is the lesson to cancel and know that no one will die? or is it to show up and be less than fabulous, imperfect, human? Or, like the Sharpie debacle, does shit just happen? and it’s not a lesson at all.

I Googled “Sharpie on computer screen” and saw endless entries in discussion forums about 3-year olds destroying computer screens across America.

We are not alone people. We are never alone. So that’s comforting.

I am grateful I let myself cancel the event. (I promise to let you know the new date Storybowlers!)
I am grateful that no one got mad at me.
I am grateful that it’s not the end of the world.
I’m grateful that I can still use my computer, that only the right half is covered in Sharpie and I can still see the left half clearly.
I am grateful that in my weakened, flu-induced state, I didn’t even feel angry. I just sighed and picked Nico up and we carried on.

I think that’s what you call surrender and I must have needed some practice in it.

UPDATE: One of Ben’s 7-year old friends suggested I trace the Sharpie with dry erase marker and then erase it. It worked like a charm! and didn’t harm my screen one bit. 🙂

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. kathleen Warner

    Feel better dear Andrea. Those Nico eyes will always win out over the “black sharpie” debacle. oxo 🙂 Thanks for sharing your journey to surrender.

  2. Kim McMechan

    Ella did red sharpie all over my screen and nailpolish remover got it off.

  3. Mariella

    The first word that popped into my head when I read your title was, surrender! And then I thought, wow that’s gotta be taking surrender to a whole new level. 😉 Oy! What a topsy-turvy week you’ve had! Hope you’re feeling better. Hugs!! xo

  4. Susannah

    Have you tried rubbing alcohol? I am pretty sure that should remove it and not harm your screen.

  5. Holly

    You are so awesome! Surrender indeed. I hope you are feeling better too!

  6. Leonie

    Try tracing the sharpie with whiteboard marker and then whiping with a paper towel. My dad swears it works.

    Good luck, beautiful post. Feel better!

  7. Lizzy in Toronto

    Surrender was my word of the year the year I had an awful boss, and was pregnant with my second daughter. It taught me very very well. I hope it does you too.

  8. Deb Kilgore Ford

    Oh, Andrea, dreadful, but you clearly reached out to your higher self to say embrace me, let me be who I really want to be, not who I am inclined to descend to being. What a blessing to your son and to us!! Joy and healing and peace, Deb

  9. Tina

    Surrender is such a big one to learn. Much practice is needed.

  10. Amy

    Actually the very best thing to take sharpie off is sharpie. Draw over the lines and wipe immediately.

  11. Taryn

    An Andrea that’s the worst! Feeling awful & having your computer screen drawn on! On the up side, because an iMac is a glass screen I imagine it acts quit like a whiteboard and I know that you can generally remover permanent marker from a whiteboard by drawing over it in whiteboard marker and then erasing it while the whiteboard marker is still fresh. Definitely worth a try!!! 🙂

  12. kristin

    ” I must have needed some practice in it”

    i love those moments.

  13. emily b

    inspirational:) mr. clean magic erasers also quickly take care of sharpies (for future reference…)

  14. Rachel

    I cannot believe the dry erase marker thing. Ben’s friend (and you others who suggested it) are amazing!

  15. Leah

    I absolutely love the coda. The fact a seven year old had the solution … so awesome.

  16. Denise A.

    Sharpie on computer screen? Sure. But OH MY CUTENESS! He is super adorable.

  17. Richele Silva

    I think I just had a little heart attach for you.

  18. Sandy

    Isn’t that dry erase marker trick amazing?! I teach, and I arrived in class one day to find racial remarks on my board (in a room shared by multiple teachers), written with a sharpie. We got it off that day with Listerine. But, I learned the dry erase trick after that, and I have no understanding of why it works, but I am amazed every time!

  19. Christine

    For me, the best part of this post? That a 7 year old knew how to fix the problem! That is just awesome.

  20. Jennifer

    oh my goodness…I just love that you were able to remove the sharpie from a seven year olds advice. amazing!

  21. Kelly

    It may be a lost cause but I accidentally found that alcohol based hand sanitizer removes sharpee marker from almost any surface…. I love your fresh perspective on life. It has inspired me to start writing again. 🙂

  22. Angela Giles Klocke

    I LOVE that a seven-year-old had the solution. My life lately has been all about surrender. It’s definitely not always easy…

  23. oprolevorter

    Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your website in web explorer, could test this… IE nonetheless is the market leader and a big part of folks will miss your wonderful writing because of this problem.



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