Tag Archives: birthday

Scenes from Saturday + Birthdays & Boxes

I had a presentation this week. I wasn’t dreading it. I was prepared, but I also wasn’t really looking forward to it. It was taking up a lot of mental space. I also had some baking to do for the weekend’s celebrations. I was looking forward to the baking (and the eating).

It all happened at the same speed. Love it or hate it. Time keeps moving.

Cecilia turned 15 yesterday. We ate pasta and cupcakes. She opened presents. I tried to appreciate all of it.

Never wish for less time.

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Scene from Saturday + Trials & Trombones

Both kids have gone through some ups and downs in the past few weeks. One of the toughest thing as a parent, especially as they get older, is to watch them fail. It’s often heartrending but it’s the whole point, I think. They do it themselves or it’s not much good.

There were times I really wanted to jump in help. But was that my job? It’s not good for them or for anyone else. I certainly want to help but not make them helpless in the process. Where does a parent draw the line? How do you know where to help, when to jump in, what to handle for them, what to tell them doesn’t really matter?

I can’t do it all. Nor should I. I can provide opportunities, support, and encouragement. The rest they’ll have to do themselves.

I’ll try to do my job and let them do theirs. As painful as that might be sometimes.

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Scenes from Saturday + Cake & Coney Island

Last week we spent part of the school spring break down in Charleston. It was a charming city and very walkable. And we walked. And ducked down alleys and side streets and tried to take in as much as we could. This led to questions. Quite a few questions from the girls.

When was sugar invented? Why did they paint those houses those colors? What kind of name is Harris Teeter? And many more.

For a long time, I found it mildly frustrating or annoying to have a why child. (Sidenote: of all the parenting industry insanity, I do find the phrase why child rather delightful). A why child isn’t content with simple explanations or the first answer. And this can be a bit frustrating when trying to explain things adequately to a toddler. But now that they are a little older? It’s quite enjoyable to try to answer the girl’s questions as completely as possible. It can lead to further conversational nooks and crannies that you never saw coming.

And curious is better than complacent and annoying is better than ignorant.

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Scenes from Saturday + Rolls & Holes

As we try to be the best parents for two kids navigating the ups and downs of two distinctly different ages, it’s a good time to remind myself that while I will, of course, always love my kids, but I will not love them all the time in exactly the same way. It’s impossible and unfair. It will only set everyone up for disappointment.

I think as a parent that you need to strive to make love a constant in the relationship but both kids and parents grow and change and if a strong relationship is going to survive, love has to be fluid and flexible.

Like a dance.

And dance is something I’ve becoming very familiar with as a parent.

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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 + 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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