Scenes from Saturday + Raking & Running

Modern parenting often gets knocked for being too soft. We hover too much. We reach for the band-aids too quickly. We don’t let kids roam past the electronic surveillance we installed outside. Some of that may be true and kids don’t benefit from much of that. But my challenge has been to recognize that each child is different.

Cecilia is more like me and responds to challenges and toughness. She’d do fine at Catholic school. Ally? Wouldn’t last a week. She needs more of a feather duster approach. And that’s okay.

Tough doesn’t have to mean inflicting pain or declaring martial law over vowel sounds or ten-blocks. I don’t want them to be scared to ask me for help. Or worried that I’ll be disappointed in them. Tough really means resilient and tough means teaching them, in whatever way is necessary, to push past their limits.

I want to create challenges for them, but not be the challenge.

We start on the couch (and chair) and finally see how Lorraine Bracco’s $1 euro house turned out. Ms. Bracco did become a little upset at the pace by the end. My favorite line from her contractor: there are no emergencies in Sicily.

It was the Soles/B.A.A. Virtual Half Marathon. Here is an obvious before picture of me heading out. It was a perfect morning to run…10 miles. Lack of training and the usual misery set in for the last three. The after picture is not blog appropriate but I did sneak in under my goal.

Meanwhile, back at home, you can guess what Michelle was up to. Less than two minutes after the noise ordinance was lifted, she was out there battling the leaves.

We tried two new tool in our war with the leaves this week. One was low tech. Michelle was quite enamored with her coat hangar contraption. She could steal a 1972 Pinto or clean the gutters.

I opted for higher tech and borrowed our neighbor’s rolling blower. If we end up purchasing one, I think I’d just need a snowblower to complete my suburban bingo card.

Quiet day at the transfer station. There wasn’t even a line at the CFL/used battery house.

As far as I can tell, modern baby showers these days don’t differ all that much from my Tuesday budget meetings.

The ladies headed off to Target to shop for some birthday supplies for Ally. Kudos to her for being excited and upbeat despite scaled back party plans.

And, despite Cecilia’s new induction into the T-Birds and her love of riding Softail motorcycles, they also found their way to the beauty and nails section.

Sadly, this is likely the last pop-up beer garden picture for awhile. Sad words. They were fun while they lasted.

Ally was happy to get a chance to ride one of the unofficial Soles mascots.

We finished up the day with soup and bread on the couch while watching City Bakes: Palermo. Can you tell Michelle is missing traveling?

Ally was excited he visited the same arancini shop that we did.

Ally had no trouble toughening up and pushing past her arancini and gelato limits on that trip. Someday we’ll get back…



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