Scenes from Saturday + Apples & Absences

It’s everyone’s favorite guest blogger here. It’s time to finally tell the world how Saturdays really go down at our house.   

Mike was away the past night participating in the Ragnar Relay, where a bunch of people ride in a van and take different legs of the race. They run through the night, occasionally try to sleep, don’t shower, and eventually finish at a beach in New Hampshire. It’s not my thing and I don’t ask a lot of questions, but I know Mike and the Soles were thrilled that Covid (or their broken-down van) didn’t stop the race this year. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Lazy Landscaping

School might be off to a stuttering, there is another day off next Thursday, but the middle schoolers are jumping right into the deep end with 9/11. Cecilia interviewed Michelle and I for an assignment about our day in NY twenty years ago. Cecilia has asked occasional questions before in the past. Ally was more aware this year and she seemed completely baffled by much of what happened. Aren’t we all.

I still don’t like to think of that day. Too raw. Too many horrible memories. Too many close what-if’s.

For the girls, for Ally, I’m afraid it was a bit of a rude awakening that the world is not made of glitter and choreographed dance numbers. There are mean, selfish, cruel and downright evil people out there in the world, too.

But not everyone. Not all people. I know there were many heroic and selfless acts that day, too. Part of parenting is not letting our past experiences and cynicism bleed into our kids. We can’t coddle them from reality. We need to prepare them, but also remind them that the vast majority of people are good. That most people will help if they can.

Friday night, after a long and affecting day of footage, memories, and questions, we watched Come From Away together. Maybe a little coddling isn’t so bad. Maybe the world is a little better with choreographed song and dance numbers. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Last Cape Days

School has started back up. One of the frequent bits of hand-wringing last year, myself included, was that the pandemic was a lost year, or that the kids were falling behind, or not learning anything. In my more rationale moments, I was able to see that this was mostly absurd, stress from other things finding an easy target.

By some metrics there probably was some backsliding, but did your kids really not learn anything? I hope not. And I doubt it. If I’ve learned anything from being a parent for a decade, it’s that kids are always watching and listening. So they were learning things. Just not likely the things they typically standardize test for at the end of an academic year.

They were learning how unpredictable life can be. They were learning about pressure and stress and about how important (and necessary) it is to be resilient and adaptive. They learned that their Mom was a boss on conference calls and worked hard every day to help people get through a difficult time. They learned about the importance of frequent vacuuming and the healing power of fresh baked bread. They learned how important relationships and good friends were. They learned about politics and and public health, if they wanted to or not! They learned about how interconnected we all ultimately are. 

I hope they learned that education doesn’t just happen in school. It’s a lifelong, never ending journey. 

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Scenes from Saturday + Peaches & Pretzels

Sometimes people will ask if the blog is staged. The answer is no. I try not to, at least. I certainly sometimes makes the girls pose or stand (for, according to them, an embarrassingly long time) for multiple photos but they are not props. We haven’t done anything just of the sake of the blog.

The blog is a time machine full of memories and the memories that matter are not staged. There is no need The photos that will remind me of the great times do not require elaborate staging. They just happen.

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Scenes from Saturday + Slides & Rides

Cecilia has been chafing at her bedtime recently. She also thinks it’s strange that both her parents go to bed so early. She wasn’t shy with her opinions but I was ready for this one!

Every parent quickly learns the importance of sleep. The kids are always a mess if they don’t get enough sleep. But so are the parents.

I’m a mess. I’m grouchy. I need a nap by 9 a.m. Who catches the brunt of that? Okay, Michelle first, but then the girls.

“I don’t want to be a hypocrite and I want to be a better Dad so I go to bed early.”

She didn’t have a quick answer for that one and she tucked me right in.

The news this week has been tough and now we are finishing with a hurricane. I hope everyone’s taking care of themselves, including getting some sleep. Everyone will benefit. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Lily Pads & Last Miles

This past week Ce was happy. Not just happy, but unusually bubbly and helpful. So much so that both Michelle and I commented on it to each other almost in disbelief. I realize the moodiness is completely normal and will continue for the next few years. This was an unexpected rainbow in the midst of cloudy skies.

There are so many things that often don’t go right or go as you planned when you’re a parent. So many frustrations, stressors, requests, and obligations that can throw you off track. What are you going to focus on? Unless you make a hobby of gathering these impositions into a lint ball of resentment, the best course I can think of is to just recognize and appreciate these tiny miracles. Continue Reading