Browsing Category: Saturdays

Scenes from Saturday + Massages & Masala

One silver lining to living through a kitchen renovation is the ample crazy time at home. I’ve written before about capitalizing on the garbage time with the girls: various car rides, doing chores, walking to the bus stop.

We should be just about done with the kitchen next week (famous last words) and it’s certainly provided some stories we will tell and remember for years. And no one is too important or too busy to have some crazy time at home.

These moments are the best moments. If they’re rare, you might be doing something wrong. They should be regular. Maybe not renovation projects but the crazy, stupid times that feel discardable in the moment, but stick in the mind.

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Scenes from Saturday + Cars, Chili & Commerce

It was our town’s discovery day yesterday. Sort of a cross between a block party, street carnival, and chamber of commerce power point presentation. I’m sure your town has something similar.

It was 3 o’clock and the ubiquitous plastic trumpets someone had mistakenly thought were a good idea had wormed their way into my inner ear and turned my heart as black as the Grinch’s on Christmas Eve. I was done. Ally wanted to stay longer.

As a parent, it feels as if I’m perpetually short on time and always looking ahead to the next thing. But what am I actually rushing toward and what am I rushing away from? Do I really want to rush home to a house under renovation? Do I need to vacuum the glitter off the stairs again? Or remind the girls to practice their instruments?

I’m really just moving too quickly through their childhood. How important will those extra 15 minutes seem in a few years? How much would I give for a few minutes back right now before she becomes an irrational teenager?

Why rush toward an uncertain future? Better to focus on the present.

Still, a present without the plastic vuvuzelas would have been nice.

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Scenes from Saturday + Apples & Arlington

[Editor’s note: It was my annual 36-hours in a van with some occasional running weekend, so Cecilia is taking over the blog this weekend. You don’t need to see 17 different point of view shots from inside a Ford Econoline.]

We just finished the fourth week of school and it has gotten interesting. In Civics, our teacher is making us say a vice president’s name before anything we say to him. It started almost two weeks ago and now I am one of the last two people still standing. I have not only learned the names of a bunch of vice presidents, I have also learned about focus, no, not my Dad’s antique car, but how much we need and use it in our daily lives.

Even if I think knowing a bunch of vice president’s names isn’t all that useful unless I start going to trivia nights with Dad. 

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Scenes from Saturday + Puppies & Progress

A new co-worker found out about my book thing. Like a lot of people, she wanted to know how I got it done. How did I write books and work a full-time job?

The pat answer is that you don’t write a book in one chunk. You write it a little at a time, day by day. If it’s important to you, you find the time.

And maybe that’s how it is now after I’ve made writing a habit. But it didn’t start that way. I finished the first book because I didn’t know any better. This quote from Orson Welles when asked where his confidence came from says it better than I can:

“Ignorance! Ignorance! Sheer ignorance, you know. There’s no confidence to equal it. It’s only when you know something about a profession that you’re timid or careful.”

Sometimes it’s far better not to know. Go on an adventure, people. Don’t wait. Be an amateur, explore the untried and find new ground.

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Scenes from Saturday + Beach & Boil

The kids are back in school and I’m jealous. If I could only go back to school now, I think my experience would be so different. And I don’t just mean how much better I’d be at flashcards.

When you were a kid, what did being an adult mean? No more school. No more homework. Graduation was the final destination of learning. Being an adult was one long summer vacation. School and education are the same thing and that education inevitably stops. This obviously says something about our school systems but it also says something about parents.

I don’t want to raise kids that are good at school. I want to raise lifelong students who know that learning is an endless pursuit, to believe one never graduates or arrives at some final destination of education.

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Scenes from Saturday + Lakes & Lines

Reading the last line from Longfellow’s poem “A Psalm of Life” it occurred to me that he could have been talking about parenting:

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Labor and wait. Like planting a vegetable gardening. Or parenting a teenager.

Yesterday’s labor involved water slides and roller coasters.

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Scenes from Saturday + Truck Stops & Timbits

We are back from a week’s vacation on Prince Edward Island. Canadian internet has improved in the three years since we last visited but it was still mostly a respite from screens and emails. For both parents and kids. As much as I enjoy the internet and much of my livelihood depends on it, I have to admit I’m relieved there was no social media when I was a kid. I am likely the last generation of parents to grow up with this divide where we didn’t have the internet all the time as a kid.

The dysfunctional side of the internet is difficult for adults to handle. It must be strange and crazy for kids. Maybe the next generation of parents will find it easier to parent amid this weird often unhealthy online world. It will just be normal. Sort of. You will have an innate understanding that Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok is not real life and you need to be disciplined when you use these tools or they become traps.

My kids will never know what it was like to live in a world without the internet. But I will also never know what it’s like to grow up in a time where it is ubiquitous. Getting away even for a week and reminding each other that there is a life to collect and curate outside the strictures of the internet was time well spent.

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