It’s been a while since I’ve joined in Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Quick Takes Friday so I’m jumping in today with my random bites of thoughts to share.
~ 1 ~
It feels like summer break just started and I’m finally getting used to it and in a few short weeks it will be time for school to start again. Part of me looks forward to the routine again but another part is dreading the stress of getting everyone up and ready and eaten and then dealing with homework and all of that after school stuff again. I also need to look into better ideas for easy and healthy cold lunches. (The kids get tired of sandwiches every day.) We’ve enjoyed a pretty relaxing break with visits from family and plenty of play time so that’s been nice. One thing I will not miss though is all the constant squabbling. It bothers me that I have to spend so much of our “quality time” together breaking up arguments and dealing with whining. How do others deal with these seemingly trivial elements of parenting? How do you not let it get under your skin and turn you into a crabby apple mama?
~ 2 ~
One thing that’s been helping – even in a very teeny tiny way – is looking for things to be thankful for. A friend of mine challenged me to 7 Days of Thankful Thinking and so I’ve had to force myself to look at the brighter side, even when all seems lost and unbearable. Here’s what I’m thankful for today: 1) Good friends who can listen and truly empathize without judging or giving out unnecessary advice, just a good listening ear. 2) Time with only my two littles while the older two are at a camp this week. It’s quieter and I can enjoy some one-on-one time with the little ones and that’s good for all of us. 3) A good conversation with a family member that gave me a way out of a frustrating afternoon with the kids, it’s nice to have a chance to connect even across the distance.
What are you thankful for? I challenge you to 7 Days of Thankful Thinking!
~ 3 ~
We enrolled our 4-year-old son (3rd child) in preschool this week! He is super excited! He was only sad that it wasn’t starting yet and asks me almost everyday if it’s September yet. It’s the same preschool I went to and it’s like walking through my nostalgic mind in there. He asked if the baby and I would stay with him there and I told him I wish I could and I really do. Why does preschool have to end? Imagine how education in our country might change if we applied the same “learning through play” to all grades instead of learning through time-filler worksheets, heavy textbooks, and tedious standardized tests. Oh what a world it would be.
~ 4 ~
I finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – LOVED it! What an amazing story. I loved how well-written it is and am amazed with how much work must have gone into it. I was surprised with how much I ended up liking it. Without giving away too much, I was deeply impressed with Louie’s struggles and how he came out of them in such a miraculous way that put my doubts to shame. I’m adding this to my “All Time Favorite Books” list.
~ 5 ~
After reading that, I went from that to another war book – figured I might as well while I was in that mode – and picked up The Things They Carried. It’s been a bit of a hot topic around these here parts since it’s on the reading list for incoming freshman in our local Catholic high-school. I decided I’d read it before making any judgments – since it’s always best to know the subject thoroughly before jumping to any conclusions. Since there are so many strong opinions about this book, I will keep my thoughts about it brief.
As a 31-year-old lover of writing and the art of it – I loved it. It has inspired me as a writer in many ways. I was very intrigued with the Metafiction writing style and found that this is how I would like to write but always felt like it “wasn’t allowed”. So on that end of it, I writing style fascinated me. Once I started and got past the awkward beginning, I was completely enthralled and couldn’t put it down. From a writer’s perspective, I can see why this book received awards and praise. So from one adult to another, I would definitely recommend this if you love amazing writing and enthralling story telling.
As a parent, however, I can see why there are concerns. I mean, it is a story about a war and it’s honest – in its crudest form. It’s typical soldier talk. And well, that means a lot of obscenities and such right? So I admit I would be uncomfortable with my incoming freshman reading such a book with the “F” word used so much and other sexual references throughout. It’s not a book about morality – there are no “morals” and that’s not really what it’s about or even the point of it at all. It’s just a writer, dreaming and remembering and making up stories. No point to it except to tell the story. And that’s really why I would be cautious about what age group I’d assign this book for. Metafiction is a very different type of writing style and I don’t know if 14/15 year olds are ready to understand it and appreciate it the way it is meant to be. I’d almost hold my child out for those reasons more than the others. Still, I’m on the fence and am glad I don’t have to make that decision just yet.
~ 6 ~
~ 7 ~
Did you read about Colbie Caillat’s music video for her new song Try? Elle magazine did a little interview about it you can read here. I appreciate her honesty and courage to share this side of her. I think this song can apply to all women of course, but more specifically to mothers who try so hard to “be a good mom”. Sometimes we try too hard to be a “photo-shopped” mom, a little too clean and perfect around the edges.