Browsing Category: Saturdays

Scenes from Saturday + Pizza Presents

It was a jolting revelation to get an email reminder this week for Cecilia’s upcoming high school information night. As if my birthday wasn’t enough of a nudge that time was clearly accelerating.

By the end of the calendar year, we’ll have a high schooler. Yikes! Michelle then pointed out that we first met when she was just five years older than Ce is now. I put my fingers in my ears and ran out of the room.

After 45 years, if I could go back and give my younger, Cecilia-age self some advice it would be learn these four phrases and use them often: “I was wrong.” “I’m sorry.” “I don’t know.” and “I need help.”

No need to complicate things. Simplicity leads to wisdom.

Here’s my annual birthday list of things I was grateful for last year.

There’s no time to waste. On to Saturday!

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Scenes from Saturday + Get Me Some Sake

I had my annual performance review at work this past week. All the projects, all the hours, all the metrics were laid out in black and white. A year’s worth of work neatly packaged up and quantifiable with a boss telling me whether I did a good job or not.

It sort of made me wish parenting was as clear as the work we do at, well, work. But at home? With our kids? It’s so much trickier. It’s invisible work. We don’t know what’s working and what isn’t, what’s important and what isn’t. And we won’t know, possibly for decades.

It might be tempting to lean into the clarity of our jobs but that would only be a distraction from the real work. Important, invisible work.

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Scenes from Saturday + Cupcakes & Crusts

We had the talk about the basement again this week and as the weekend approached I could see Michelle getting more agitated. She really wanted to clean it. Better yet, she wanted to purge and eradicte clutter.

We were hosting a second birthday party for Ally. That’s right, she somehow managed to get us to agree to a second, joint birthday with her out-of-town (i.e., non-school_ friends. She looks innocent but she’s devious. In preparation for the party, we were straightening up. Or, I was straightening. Michelle was tossing things in garbage bags and sneaking out the back door.

Is a spotless house with no clutter, no mess, no evidence of kids really the goal?

There is a particular table in our basement. We’ve had it since our first shared apartment. Ally now uses it as her craft table and it is a maelstrom of mess no matter how often we attack it.

You know what? Kids are messy. The more chaos, the more mess, the more fun they’re likely having. And the more fun they are having, whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, the harder the evidence is to hide. And why, would you want to hide it?

This isn’t to say we should let everything go, but you do have to let some things go. You’re going to have to accept some mess.

Because it’s beautiful evidence. Evidence that the kids are alright. Evidence you are doing some things right.

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Scenes from Saturday + Root Beer & Ramen

Cecilia has a district trombone audition at the end of the month and its been interesting to watch her approach it. Initially, we did try to give her more feedback and try to get her to understand the gravity and level of preparation required. Of course, this was coming from two middle aged people with years of experience.

Kids have comparatively little experience, wisdom, so confidence. It’s nuts. And of course hearing about our own expectations (and maybe projections) doesn’t help. We finally came to our senses and stepped back. We would still be there if she needed us, but we weren’t going to lean into it. It was her thing. She would take what she would from it. She would gain some experience.

In this way, parents are very much like producers–we provide the funding. We connect them with the right talent. We help them solve problems. We are there to comfort through disappointments. We help the artist realize their vision…and we gladly let them take all the credit when they succeed.

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Scenes from Saturday + Jammies & Jamz

Welcome to January. Maybe just the thought of life changes or resolutions makes you tired. Maybe it energizes you. Just make sure you’re running toward something, and not just away from something.

After a solid year of indoctrinating the girl’s into the genius of Prince, maybe it’s time to go further down the funk rabbit hole. New Year’s resolutions always make me think of the Sly and The Family Stone’s line:

Running away to get away
Ha-ha, ha-ha
You’re wearing out your shoes

Look at you fooling you

Change can be good. Just make it intentional and reasonable.

A little self-discipline is good, but you also need some self-forgiveness, don’t fool yourself if you want to make it stick.

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Scenes from Saturday + Soles & Soles

We are rounding the bend toward the end of the year, a time for gratitude, reflection, family, parties, small talk, and… stress. The happy holidays can quickly be derailed by trying to do too much, or spend too much, or see too many people.

The silver lining? If you fall into this trap, it’s a very predictable tradition. It happens every year.

In a world where there is a constant battle for our time and attention, we need proper (digital and interpersonal) boundaries to support our health.

Like a lot of parenting, the solution can often be misconstrued. Especially by teenagers. Setting boundaries is not about being overly strict or mean, it’s about knowing yourself, and knowing your kids, and being aware enough to know what is good for your family and what ultimately might be self-destructive.

TL;DR: To control your life, control what you pay attention to. Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live.

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