There are some conversations you are just never ready to have as a parent. It all might seem easy or straightforward when you are reading those child advice books, but actually having the conversation on a Wednesday night when your six year old is crying? Not so simple. You just muddle through, try to tell the truth, and do the best you can.
A family friend passed away suddenly this week and, while the girls have had a few family members and pets die before, this was the first time that Ally was old enough to have a framework to better understand and ask the tough questions. Like I said, we muddled through. We finally were able to get her to stop crying and go to sleep by agreeing to a verbal contract to take care of her two “lovies” if anything ever happened to her.
It’s been on my mind, maybe with my own birthday clicking off another year soon, for the rest of the week. If she’d sent me an Outlook invite that she’d start asking life’s ultimate questions on Wednesday night at 8, here’s what I might have said with a little forethought:
We always live with death by our side so don’t take anything for granted and try to appreciate each moment. Life is always changing. So often we live our lives like we’ll live forever but as soon as we remember that life is fleeting we find ourselves letting go of the distractions and being more present for one another. Try to find peace with the impermanence. If we can remember this and carry it with us, it won’t be morbid or sad, it will bring a lightness and ease and comfort.
Or the 6 year old version of that. Maybe the stuffed animal contract was the right way to go…
We started the day with a double dose of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Not sure why they can’t just watch it together but it’s one of those things I never feel like dealing with before coffee.
Also, I’m continually amazed by how good and how weird Pee Wee’s Playhouse was. How did this get on the air?
Two weeks to go to the test. Michelle and her study partner are making progress. Or so she says.
No pictures from the run this week. I was too focused on not getting lost on the new route, but it was another good start to the weekend. Also good to hit double digits. Less than a month until the Old Fashioned 10 Miler.
Somewhat to my surprise, the girls were off the couch when I returned and playing in the basement. They would continue to play down there almost uninterrupted for the next three hours. (What!) Best of all? It was glitter, glue and craft-free playing so there was no need to include a vacuum or fumigation (the unicorn smell is finally gone) in the clean up procedures.
Dash and I took to the woods again now that the snow is gone.
He worked up an appetite on his walk and immediately went after the weakest member of the pack and tried to take her food. She’s tougher than she looks. Or maybe not, she does have that black eye. Either way, no food for Dash.
Cecilia put my laziness in cleaning up the fallen branches in the driveway to good use by practicing her dribbling skills around the natural obstacles.
The Scouts pinewood derby was in the same school as Cecilia’s basketball game and proved a much more interesting lure for Ally than the sixth week in a row of watching her sister play basketball.
The sneak peek into a boy’s Saturday was interesting. If we’d had boys, I’m sure there are many, many internet rabbit holes I would have gotten lost in for pinewood derby prep. Best to steer clear….
Since it is my birthday week, for once, I was able to wrest some control of the day’s agenda beyond baking and meal prep. After basketball and scouts, we headed into the city.
First stop….pizza. I recognize I am somewhat predictable. I’m admittedly a huge pizza snob, but Stoked in Brookline was really good. Well worth a repeat visit.
Next stop….my favorite book store. I am the stereotype of the wild and crazy suburban dad. My kids didn’t really inherit my sports genes (Allison insists the Patriot’s coach is Bert Belichick) but they will inherit my love of books come hell or high water.
I let the girls pick the dessert spot as I was still full of pizza. They went for dark chocolate and strawberry crepes. No complaints from me but we all agreed the ones from NYC were a bit better.
If they are still smiling by the end of the day, you didn’t do it all wrong.
Running, pizza, books, sweets and now the red wine. That’s a fine Saturday, I think.