Tag Archives: pizza

Scenes from Saturday + Weights & Wine

On Valentine’s Day this week, Cecilia cleaned her sneakers and I thought about love. Stay with me for a moment. The cleaning was not just a cursory wipe down, either, it involved spray bottles, hair dryers, and copious amounts of paper towels. She put in the time and effort. In short, she cared.

We often think of love as leading to care, but I think the opposite is just, if not more, true. Care can lead us to love.

The author Alison Gopnik writes about parenting and children: “This caring changes us, and deepens our love. We don’t care for children because we love them. We love them because we care for them.”

This sort of blew my mind and I’m not even sure if it is true, but even if it isn’t, it is a very useful fiction, because it encourages us to action, not to passively wait for the feeling. Be the verb first.

Too much to take from a shoe cleaning?

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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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Scenes from Saturday + Crepes & Marshmallows

One of my favorite things about being a member of my local running group is the various ages of people that it brings me in contact with each week. My experience is no longer defined just by the parents from daycare or from fourth grade or from the cul de sac. It opens me up to a wider range of opinions, experiences, and…knowledge of whiskey brands. Love of beer and bar trivia were just a happy accident, I swear.

So, I found myself nodding along and recognizing some of myself in this article that circumvents those calendar-based designations designed to divide us into marketable groups in favor of a mindset.

“A Perennial is a self-selecting, positive term for curious people who resist being defined by any one characteristic, especially age. Perennials get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk-takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle.”

Those characteristics all sound like things that would be good for me, my kids, and my friends. Relevance for all ages.

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Scenes from Saturday + Birthdays & Bellinis

A reminder to myself from the inimitable Dear Abbey as the holidays creep closer. As the boxes pile up on the front step and the girls make last minute changes to gift lists and we worry we’re not giving them enough and somehow giving them way too much.

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.”

Money can make things easier, no doubt, gifts might make them temporarily smile, no doubt, but there is no substitute for that garbage time.

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Scenes from Saturday + Fall & Fur Balls

As it grew darker last Tuesday, and the girls got their costumes ready, Ally asked if I believed in ghosts.

No, I do not believe in ghosts or spirits. But I do believe in memories.

I believe in the collective memory of all the people doing what human beings have always done before me. Being a parent, being a Dad, being a son, being a man. Getting it right sometimes. Screwing it up sometimes.

Whether spirits exist or not, we are never alone. Memories, for me, are a benign presence, not a haunting one. They exist to teach, advise, caution, and inspire with all that prior experience.

They protect us. They reassure us. They give us company.

Act accordingly.

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Scenes from Saturday + Food & Freedom

Parents of teenagers, what is it about the age (hormones, a glimpse of the ‘real’ world) that so often poisons the resiliency and willingness to just try of their younger selves?

For most, this is just a temporary fog, but here is a life lesson, or life approach, that I’d like to inject directly into my kids brains as an antidote to overly negative thinking: How can I make this work?

It’s not a life hack (hate those) but a mindset. Don’t be the type of person that approaches a situation and think, “What are all the ways this might go wrong?

This is not to say I want the girls to be naive or overly optimistic. Just the opposite. I want them to be realistic and believe that they’ll find a way through no matter what and not to depend on things outside their control.

Both types of mindsets need to deal with reality, but the first person will only have to solve problems that actually occur while the second person may never get started because they’ve scuttled themselves with potential (or even imaginary) problems before they even start.

There will always be reasons to not do something. It’s how you start anyway that makes a difference.

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