Tag Archives: fourthofjuly

Scenes from Saturday + July! July!

We are two weeks into summer. No camps. No dance. No tutors. No theater. No jazz band.

A lot of free time to get splendidly bored. Call it un-schooling if you want.

For me, summer is for simplifying.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up trying to teach them anything.

The world throws a lot at kids. It’s noisy out there with a lot of competing voices. How do I get them to remember anything I tell them, especially during vacation?

By simplifying.

David McCullough’s biography of John Adams includes a great quote: “To be good and to do good, is all we have to do.”

Be good. Do good. When the world gets noisy, that’s not bad advice to fall back on. As parents, or as kids.

Keep it simple this summer. Be good. Do good.

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Scenes from Saturday + Cheese Board Games

There are certain things a parent should be expected to pass on to their kids. Team allegiances. Curiosity. Respect. Proper flash card study habits. Lawrence Welk on lazy Sunday afternoons. An irrational love of Prince. The basic underpinnings of a happy life.

Parents should be careful however, not to pass on their fears. Fear is the killer of inquisitiveness. Kids are largely innocent. For better or worse, they just don’t know. Fear colors that curiosity with something darker. I might be afraid of heights. Or small spaces. Or pre-teen Disney stars. But that’s me, not them.

Cecilia survived jazz improv camp. She even let it slip she might go next year. I played trumpet for eight years and never soloed. I might have been afraid, but she’s not.

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Scenes from Saturday + Rain Games

Halfway through the year and a good time to take stock of goals for the year. I’m more than halfway through the next book. It’s a bit of a mess but that’s normal. The pie baking goal went out the window with the fitness challenge but that’s okay. Goals can be flexible. I’ll conquer that dough fear eventually. Work is still taking place in the living room with the occasional trombone lesson getting airtime on conference calls.

But what about parenting? How do we measure that?

Parenting often feels like saving for retirement. It’s so big and the timeframe so long that you’re not really going to know how you’re doing until its over. The best you can do is contribute steadily and not panic. Through that lens, I think we’re doing okay. We’re showing up, we’re dealing with the eye rolls, they seem mildly embarrassed by us most times, but still return at the end of the day and ask what’s for dinner. I’m giving myself a check.

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Scenes from Saturday + Cape, Bikes & Kayaks

We were down at the Cape for most of the holiday week and it seems fitting on the Fourth of July that the girls got a little more independence this year. While they are not swimming alone or biking off down 6A to the General Store, they do now have the freedom to pedal around the complex and go for low-tide beach walks. 

It’s been good for all of us. If a mid-afternoon lull sets in or if they just can’t survive without dessert immediately, we can shove them out the door and tell them to pedal around for 30 minutes until the second, mmm, maybe third, bottle of wine kicks in. Let freedom ring! Continue Reading