This week started off on a bit of a downer, since Monday we dropped Jon off at the airport after his weekend visit (too short!). Jon had initially planned to come out and help me with some much needed home repairs, in particular my roof, but apparently the state of Florida is super strict about not only who works on your roof but exactly how it’s allowed to be repaired and so…I have no patience for that. Good news for the local roofers. Time to bid on my roof!
But this meant that Jon was scheduled to come with nothing to do. Poor Jon. He just got to have a mini vacation. My wife still put him to work (now our garage is clean and we can actually park in it after two years of squeezing around boxes) but we spent most of the weekend soaking up sun on the beach, eating good food and even managed to squeeze in a trip to the theater to see Black Panther.
It was decent, but we don’t need to talk about that.
Highlight of the week came on Monday though. Not the ‘dropping off at the airport’ part, but the wandering St. Pete part. I just love that city. I haven’t even seen the bulk of it. We mainly loiter around the same Central Ave, eating at the same spots (Central Melt is our go-to for lunch) and taking in the same sights (those graffiti walls are everything!), but I could do it every day and never get tired of it. Every inch of that city has boundless texture.
And just like that, the (extended) weekend was over, and it was time for the ‘day-to-day’ to begin.
A Little Day to Day
I regularly have friends who follow me on social media tell me that they want to be me when they grow up. I tell them that the trick is to only post the moments that are fun and shy away from the ‘real stuff’. To them, I’m constantly at the beach or at Disney or just having a blast somewhere, but in reality, the majority of my day is spent cleaning up after three kids. For five minutes a day I usher them into some sort of light and shove a camera in their face and tell them to act like they are having the time of their life. Then we run back inside, they get back into their pajamas, and I continue my routine of yelling at them to do their schoolwork, with a vacuum in one hand and a cell phone in the other (I need to work sometimes).
Okay, so it’s not that severe, but you get my point.
We have fun, for sure. I can’t help but laugh when my eldest complains that she doesn’t get Winter Break or Summer Vacation. Your whole life is Summer Vacation, sweetheart. It doesn’t hurt that you live in Florida, where we can visit the beach (and you can swim) over Christmas weekend (which we did).
My wife and I talk about this often. She’s quieter than I am and enjoys the times when we do nothing at all, but I’m wired a little differently and kind of love constantly having things to do. I like the fact that my children’s lives are ones of constant ‘memory making’. Some days are more memorable than others, but I just love that their living life moment by moment, living every single day to the fullest.
My kids ask every…single…day, “What are we doing tomorrow?”, and it does get old, I won’t lie, but it keeps me on my toes because I don’t want to disappoint them. I want to always give them something to look forward to.
A Little Peace & Love
Spending nearly every waking moment with my kids has been a real blessing. It has also been extremely stressful, for a barrage of reasons, but the most impactful has got to be for the reason that I see each and every mood they experience. As my kids get older, they experience things that are just hard to weather sometimes. This is especially true with my eldest, who is hitting those pre-teen years where everything is just hard and complicated and confusing. Suddenly friendships are more complex than they were yesterday and everything said seems to have two meanings and you overthink everything; and as a parent it’s so hard to sit back and watch it all unfold. Instinctively you just want to jump in and fix everything, but that’s just not possible. And while you’re consoling, you have to remember that you are training these kids to become adults and so you have to react reasonably and rationally because they are soaking in everything you say and ‘don’t say’.
Why does parenting have to be so hard?
So we have been talking a lot about peace and love this week, and the importance of always showing it, no matter how someone else may have affected us by their lack of those two important qualities. It’s what we do in the face of adversity that shapes who we are going to be in the long run, and while it isn’t always easy, being the bigger person is going to benefit you and everyone around you. I have faith in them. We are born with the desire for happiness, not only for ourselves but for everyone around us. It’s up to us, as parents, to nurture that desire so that our children don’t replace it with something else.
A Little R & R
Remember that thing I said about my children’s lives being one long Summer Vacation…yeah, this weekend was fun. They do see their friends a lot and spend time playing and exploring and all that good stuff, but this weekend they saw a lot of friends (yay for park picnics) and played H-A-R-D; so hard that they couldn’t even enjoy their nightly movie on the couch. From a day filled with good food, good friends, and a slew of games (from kickball to volleyball to musical chairs) to yet another day spent park-side playing, hiking and chasing chickens around your friend’s backyard farm (or whatever you wanna call it); I think you had a good weekend.
Gotta have those moments and make those memories…and as my wife likes to tease, “Get those pictures.”
She’ll thank me for them later.
Song of the Week: Show You a Body
Music this week…it’s been pretty good. Some nice pop singles have dropped from new faces, like Carlos Vara and BOBI ANDONOV, both running opposite spectrum of the genre (Vara filled with soul and R&B throwback vibes, and ANDONOV using pulsating beats and channeling ZAYN). But for me, it was Haley Heynderickx release (the whole album) that takes top spot for me. The folksy rhythms and poetic nature of her album feels very much like Feist (who I adore) and just comes through so beautifully. Sadly, 90% of her release saw 2017 single drops (which I apparently missed or she would have shown up all over my Favorite Songs of 2017 list), but Show You a Body, and No Face are soft, subtle and emotive in all the right places.