There is a divide in our house and it revolves around when bananas are actually ripe. Maybe that’s not quite right. The divide is around when bananas are good to eat.
Michelle says almost never (she carries long-lasting scars from childhood medicine that was banana-flavored). My kids both only like them when are still tinged with green and “taste more like an apple.” Um, okay.
I like them spotted but still firm. No one likes them when they are brown and resemble plantains. That is the time for banana bread.
As we near the one-year anniversary of parenting in a pandemic, I keep coming back to the idea of good enough parenting as a touchstone to stay calm and confident and less anxious about the long-term effects of all this on the girls.
Good enough parents do not strive to be perfect parents and do not expect perfection from their children. Good enough parents respect their children and try to understand them for who they are. Good enough parents are more concerned for the child’s experience of childhood than with the child’s future as an adult. Good enough parents provide the help that their children need and want, but not more than they need or want.
Now if only my kids would consider the concept of being good enough children when I’m on a work Zoom…
The whole point of this year-long exercise is to improve and get better at making pies so failure is to be expected, even encouraged. A brief guide to improvement: lots of research, lots of attempts with a focus on refining and trying different things, and lots of repetition once you find a good method.
So the process has multiple failures baked in. It does not however make the sting of belly-flopping on your face feel any better.
The kids had winter break this week. We stayed put and I hit a pandemic wall. Not the first in the past year. Turns out an introvert who doesn’t mind going days without speaking to other humans has limits. I tried to fight it. Being tired is easy. Being a cynic is easy. Caring is much harder. Hoping is harder.
Who knows how this past year will effect the kids long term? Maybe they shrug it off. Maybe it’s a weird touchstone moment they share at parties. I do know it’s not fair to let my experiences deprive them of any hope they need to be happy. So I put on my Dad pants, vacuumed up my pity, stayed off the internet, and tried to stay positive.
Parenting is not easy. It takes a certain courage. The courage to wake up in the morning and keep up the good cheer even if you’re not feeling it. The courage to believe that making a better world is possible and worth it.
Parenting is hard. But it’s worth it.
I was having fun in the first week of the new WTRL Zwift Duathlon series, slowly cranking up the run pace on the treadmill when, with just two minutes left to go, I felt a sharp pain in my left hamstring. Uh oh. Too much run intensity, too fast for these old legs. I immediately slowed way down and finished at a slow, limping jog. But this was just week one of six. How best to recover and prepare for next week without risking a strain turning into a full blown tear?
How to deal with the conundrum of the closed door? Cecilia is in sixth grade and likes to remind us she is not a kindergartner anymore. She’s right, of course. This is only the beginning of learning to let go. For both of us. Letting her shut the door and deal with her responsibilities and their repercussions is part of growing up.
Just letting her be isn’t always easy. For both of us. Will she embrace flash cards and to-do lists and bullet journaling by the third term? Of course not. She’s not perfect. Neither was I. It took me until ninth grade to figure out I could type of the English vocab lists early and sell them to classmates.
She’ll screw up. I’ll screw up. I do remember the disapproval or judgement of parents did little to effect my teenage habits, good or bad. I’ll do my best to wait and be available and let her ask for help if she needs it. But if she doesn’t, she’ll probably be okay, too. Kids are good at figuring things out.
(Except how to vacuum and clean up those sparkly hell flakes called glitter.)
If you don’t want to mess around or maintain a sourdough starter but still yearn for better tasting home-baked bread, you might consider using a starter or pre-ferment to quickly improve your home loaves with little additional effort beyond some advanced planning.