I am not a human Google. I don’t have a wake up word like Alexa. Yes, I know things. Yes, I have answers. But I am also busy. Yet the girls still have questions. So many questions and requests throughout a typical day. And I don’t want to blunt those questions or their curiosity, but I do want to teach them how to figure things out and not just repeat the question in increasing decibels at me or at a device.
So this week, I did pause and teach Cecilia the proper pronunciation of her vocab word victuals (it’s ‘vittels‘) with an actual dictionary (that took the longest to find in the house) and then we traced it back through Middle English, French, and Latin (vital).
Did it take longer than just telling her? Yes, but just telling them doesn’t help. You have to show them. Continue Reading
Being your own family’s best friend is reinforcing the centuries old wisdom in the Stoic quote ‘moderation in all things.’ The best of intentions can turn sour when the volume is turned up too high. Even love, generosity, and affection. We are trying our best to give both kids the space they need to continue to grow. This might mean (often) biting our tongue over their study habits. Or missing an assignment. Or misinterpreting the answer Alexa is clearly feeding them.
It’s one of parenting’s more difficult tasks to willingly let your kids struggle especially if you have the answer or experience to correct them. Always giving them everything in the moment is a recipe for a long term disaster.
Always make sure they know you love them, of course, but no need to be in their hip pocket all the time. You don’t need to learn the facts about ancient Sumeria with them. They know you care about them.
Care about he kids, not the ancient city of Ur. They had their own family problems.
Around New Year’s it’s impossible not to think about time. Time missed. Time passing. The last year brought an avalanche of missed trips, missed moments, and missed milestones but sitting on the couch New Year’s Eve trying to fit in one last glass of champagne before a dry January, it was easy to remember that if you are only looking for the big events, you’re missing a heck of a lot.
My parenting resolution for 2021 is to not forget that feeling, to not to constantly look for an Instagram result and just try to enjoy the daily parenting… struggle and take some reward from that. It’s easy to have this thought bleary-eyed with a glass of champagne, probably harder on Tuesday afternoon juggling Zoom log-ins and sixth grade science slides talking about thermodynamics.
But better to go for the obvious, big parenting belly flop than something completely unrealistic like getting the girls to actually shut off lights when they leave a room. Continue Reading
I had a plan. What I thought was a pretty good plan. As I worked my way through my marathon plan for Chicago in the fall, I’d also work my way through Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky’s Run Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook for athletes. I would see how their philosophy and recipes held up for the everyday marathoner, not just the elites.