School finally started up this week and I was reminded of two important Dad lessons. First, my kids are not me. They might have my genes but that doesn’t mean they love flash cards, enjoy timed multiplication tests, or enjoy the rug patterns a good vacuum session can produce. I might not totally understand my kids (will I ever?) but it’s not really fair to see them as little me’s. They like different things. They are essentially different people.
That’s not their problem. It’s my problem. Not really a terrible problem to have but just something to keep in mind when they roll their eyes at my 76th suggestion about the long term benefits of deliberate practice.
Second lesson: yelling at inanimate objects like Chromebooks or new drop-off traffic patterns is an emotional response and that type of response never made a situation better.
On to a Saturday not filled with Zooms, worksheets, or scavenger hunts during business calls…
I keep snacking. All. the. time. That was probably the most consistent piece of feedback I kept getting during those early months of lock down. People that were used to the office environment were no working and sitting ten feet from their fridge. It was taking a toll on their waistline.
As a work from home, pre-COVID veteran, I had faced this battle myself and (mostly) conquered it years ago. The plan of attack is simple. Have a solid list of low effort snacks (sweet, savory, smooth, creamy) in the house and ready to go for that afternoon sugar dip.
These are my 10 favorite low effort afternoon snacks to stave off the munchies during that 3 p.m. conference call.
Mike, have you taken your pill has become a sort of code in our house for when I’m acting bitchy and cranky. Sometimes I legitimately need to take my pills. Other times I’m just a 43 year old man dealing with glitter in the weave of the rug. Sometimes…it’s just hard to tell. Parts of last week where in that murky zone. So much is going on in the world, both near and far, it can be hard to wrap your head around it even with meds.
Most of our opinions and feelings are reactionary and unrelated to what’s actually happening. I’m guessing having teenage kids is going to be a great reminder of this but even now, dealing with the news and the pandemic and…everything, it’s a good reminder for me. Better to let it go.
The world rarely notices your anger. Why would it? Getting mad about distant things you don’t or can’t control is exhausting. Focus on what’s important. Focus on what you control.
Getting the girls to understand that is a work in progress. The big thing coming up in our house is finally returning to school next week. For Cecilia, this means heading to middle school. Whoever said anger is fear turned outward definitely had adolescent kids. They are walking glitter bombs. But first a very fine Saturday…
For the love of god stop buying overpriced pizza sauce at the grocery store. Especially this time of year where local tomatoes are abundant. There’s no need to over complicate your pizza.
Pizza should cook quickly, whether it’s on a pan, stone or grill. There’s no time or reason to let a complicate sauce cook and simmer on your dough. Trust me, your local pizza shop isn’t doing this. There is an easier way!
I’m on the record many times about being a person that likes routines and order. I like having a plan. I like figuring out what we are going to have for dinner over my first cup of coffee in the morning. This…trait can be helpful in many aspects of life but I do find myself saying ‘No’ a lot because it’s not on the to-do list or it’s not on the menu.
I can easily defend saying ‘no’ as doing the responsible thing, the necessary thing but is it the best thing as a Dad? If this strange summer has taught me anything it’s that you just never know how long you have. Why not say ‘Yes’ a little more. More chocolate chips in those pancakes? Sure. A neon red slushie at 11 a.m.? Sure. Going for a walk on the beach at 10 p.m.? Sure. It might drive my ordered mind temporarily insane but I’ll forget. The girls will remember those slushies.
I’ve been running pretty consistently for almost twenty-five years now. Some years more, some years less but I’ve probably logged at least 500 miles a year for the past two decades. You would think after thousands of miles and thousands of hours of running I’d have perfected a system. Actually, I have, it’s just that most days it’s not an ideal system. Despite being a veteran runner, I still make the same mistakes many beginning runners do.
Here are the five mistakes I make most often as a runner:
A confession: despite my best efforts, our kids really aren’t into Harry Potter and I’m trying not to freak out too much. I’m trying not to rush it. This is a similar strategy I use to pass on my love of running and vacuuming.
Maybe tonight is just not the night. I’m trying to raise readers and that is a process that is never completed. You’re never finished being a reader. It’s like farming or gardening. There is a constant need for cultivation and the to-do list is never finished.
And like gardening, there is a time and a season for patience. It might be in six months or six years but I think that connection will eventually come. A reader recognizes a good story in their own time.
On to a gray and rainy Saturday, the perfect day really to curl up with a long book like Harry Potter. Hmmm… maybe if there was a musical? Or more dance scenes? No, no, I can wait…