Weekend 6.11


I was dropping off the kids’ lunches. They had forgotten them at home, or maybe I didn’t have anything in the fridge that morning, which is why I was walking through the school courtyard around 10AM. The boys’ school runs kindergarten through 8th grade, and it happened to be the day of the 8th grade “promotion” ceremony. I caught the tail end of the ceremony: all of the 8th graders, dressed up and looking impossibly old, so much older than my two little guys at the time, and a sea of shell-shocked parents with happy, stricken faces. I remember fleeing the playground, choking back sobs, for those poor parents of suddenly old kids.  

The end of 8th grade — my god. It’s the end of an era.

That 8th grade promotion ceremony has haunted me for years. I have been absolutely dreading the end of Raines’ 8th grade year. But this past Thursday morning, we woke up, put on fancy clothes, and walked to school together, one final time. 

When the boys were tiny, the days seemed so long, the minutes inching by. Our days were a slow progression of cuddles and long walks and swing sets and painting and blocks and the endless emptying of the dishwasher. Now, they’re a blur of activities: Raines’ tennis or Pax’s snowboarding or Mike’s work, in addition to all of my usual stuff. I fight to spend my time intentionally, but it’s often a losing battle; I’ve been feeling out of control, mindlessly spinning and unsettled.  

I need a connection point with my boys, a touchstone. Occasionally, I’ll crawl into bed with Raines for a quick cuddle before sleep. He humors me, this boy I used to carry around in a pouch, this boy who once was always strapped to my front. There were years when we were practically the same person, a little unit. And now there are days that pass without full eye contact, where at night I realize that I haven’t once looked him in the eyes.  

I am losing track of days. How are we here, at his 8th grade graduation already?  

“Once you guys hit high school,” my mom warned, “time sped up and then boom-“ here she smiled, a little sadly. “You were gone.”

I think about our walks to school. My entire life for the last nine years has been defined by walking the boys to and from school. First with Pax strapped to my chest, waving goodbye to my wild-haired Raines, as I navigated my first chemo treatment and his first week of kindergarten. Then later, with Pax in the stroller, and the mental energy and patience and freaking craftiness required to get Raines to school on time (almost never) and Pax to sit happily in the stroller (literally never). The eventual negotiations about hand-holding while crossing the street, the progression of walking with their friends. 

Honestly, the boys have been able to walk to school on their own for a while, but Mike and I almost always go with them. This walk to school has become a precious thing, especially as our lives have become busier. 

And on Thursday, we took our final walk to school.

In the courtyard stood the 8th graders, dressed up and looking impossibly old. We listened to speeches and clapped and cheered, a sea of shell-shocked parents with happy, stricken faces.

OK, this dress is something special. I have a video coming out soon about Farm Rio dresses, but one was so good I’ve gotta mention it immediately: Farm Rio’s Plunge Neck Cut-Out Knotted Midi Dress is worth a look. I know it looks like a sack in the product photos online (even on the model!!) but in real life, it’s something special. I wear it without a bra, but this dress *can* be worn with a bra, especially if you choose a color that can peek out a little. This dress is also available in a gorgeous red.

I wear denim skirts now. I ordered this vintage-inspired denim skirt on Goop (it’s one of their G.label products) and have been wearing it instead of jeans. It’s soft, comfy, and such a fun, easy upgrade. Of course, being Goop, it’s one billion dollars. Happily, I just came across this FRAME Bardot denim skirt that looks almost exactly the same. Still pricey, but much better (and currently part of a promotion). It runs small, though, so size up. Lastly, Madewell’s classic denim skirt is a bit similar…but I’d maybe consider their more feminine pull-on denim midi skirt.

Best cotton tee for guys? Mike owns exactly one not-disgusting T-shirt, so I’m on a mission to figure this out. After reading reviews on this $6 tee, it seemed like a no-brainer to try, and now both Raines and Mike love it. It’s nothing fancy, just a really great tee that softens up with time.

The best Converse I’ve found. Converse’s No Waste Sneaker in (and this is key) “Mineral Clay, Egret, & Black” is *the* perfect summer sneaker. Such a pretty, chic shade of brown, and would be so cute with cut-offs and a tan.

Sunscreen!! My beloved Supergoop! is on sale at Saks. Note: Saks only carries the Supergoop! products I use on myself, not the kid ones. Case in point? Supergoop!’s Glow Screen for body…it feels like a splurge, but also makes me feel like a goddess, so I buy it every year. I use it as my “base coat” sunscreen. I also can’t live without Supergoop!’s SPF eye cream and Glow Screen (for face). That said, I must mention that Supergoop! just came out with a tinted version of Glow Screen that I’m ordering immediately (unfortunately, the tinted version is only available on Supergoop.com and isn’t on sale). But Glow Screen in general is pretty magic stuff, and easily rivals Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter.

Lip oil? I can’t resist the idea of tinted lip oils — such a genius move. Sheer, moisturizing, and just the barest little happy pop of color. I’m ordering Clarin’s lip oil in ‘apricot’. Not only are the colors gorgeous, but this product has slight plumping ingredients, and I love how it looks on every skin type shown.

The best Father’s Day gift. One year I got Mike a Soda Stream…and then he thanked me and immediately went out and bought himself YETI’s backpack cooler and lived happily ever after. I found more YETI backpacks here, or, for a more affordable alternative, Scotti’s husband swears by Stoic’s backpack cooler, and I read some gear review recently (somewhere?? can’t remember) raving about Carhartt’s cooler backpack. The cooler part is smaller, but it has more room for other things, making it especially good for hiking.

The best heels for weddings & events? Linzi just dropped a YouTube video on the heels she’s been comfortably wearing to parties for years. They’re the exact same comfort brand I swear by as well, and she makes a pretty compelling case for several different styles. I loved it.

NOOOO…mosquitos! I’m one of those people that mosquitos LOVE. Not only do they swarm when I’m around, but they’ll bite me through my clothes (and my bites swell + last forever). And I just found out that my favorite, all-natural bug spray was just discontinued, GAHHHH! Sitting in front of a fan is always my best bet, but it’s often annoying and not always practical. That said, I can personally vouch for Mosquito Dunk (now called ‘Mosquito Bits’) for prevention, and this portable canister (think essential oils on steroids) for sitting around. But the bug spray thing…shoot. This one, No Natz, is supposed to be similar. WE WILL SEE.

Rhubarb season! I’ve been making my Grandmother’s rhubarb torte almost every weekend. I’ve gotta share the exact recipe, but this Rhubarb Torte recipe on AllRecipes is very similar. I’ve actually been making it with non-dairy butter and almond milk and it’s still delicious.

Something that stinks. I agree with Vanessa Friedman’s take on Dior’s relationship with Johnny Depp. He’s the spokesmodel for their Sauvage fragrance, and the fact that they’re re-launching this campaign based on the outcome of his trial…stinks.

Something that doesn’t stink. I liked The Atlantic’s article on Instagram influencer Sharon Says So. While I, too, sometimes get frustrated with Sharon’s seemingly unending positivity, I’ll admit that her account feels very different than everything else out there. And I’m excited to listen to her latest IG live on gun responsibility.

Happy weekend, gang.




  1. The truest words I have ever heard about parenting are “the days are long, but the years are short”
    Keep them talking to you, the high school years are a roller coaster.

  2. I LOVE your writing Shana, but why make me cry right now!?? I just saw a picture of someone’s new baby, my friend announced a new pregnancy, my oldest is turning 16 next month, my youngest 5 in two days…I just turned 40 and now want a baby because I want those years back!!!!!! I miss it every single time a kid gets close to 5. I need someone to need me more? Am I nuts? I still get night and morning snuggles and I swear it is the best time of every day. A couple days ago I rewatched your first you tube video amd I remember when it was new! How does this happen?! On the plus side, is it weird how much I love how fun the 90’s is making the 40’s? I am buying Van’s like it is my side job and painting my nails like it is my 8 year old birthday again! I never even owned Van’s until my then middle schooler told me it was cool 4 years ago…Anyhow, thanks for making buying clothes fun again. It has definitely been a journey for me.

  3. On tee shirts… you can buy gildan’s at michael’s. my 11 year old wears them. they are often on sale in the $3 range. However, they do not seem to soften over time, but get more stiff. Also white seems to get dirty around the collar even after bleach. My oldest has a mr beast tee (so nasty now, so many holes, but she wears it almost daily) and also had a school tee made from port & co, which she believes is the best authentic tee. I prefer target’s 100% cotton standard fit tees for my husband because they do stay soft. Oddly the graphic ones seem better (fit wise) than the plain but who knows. Then we replace them when I think they smell bad!

  4. I just walked my preschoolers together to school for the last time, next year I’ll have one in kindergarten,and the other still in preschool, but in opposite directions. It was so sad after 4 years of the same routine!!! I’ll miss it terribly! I feel this!!!

  5. Try Ranger Ready Tick and Insect repellant. Deer-free with Picardin and very effective. Comes in scents that are nice if you like that or a “scent zero” version.

  6. I am right there with you – 2 of my kids are your boys’ ages (and I have a 9yo also). You often write what I am thinking, and I’m also finding myself wondering how the time flies. I love your point about making eye contact every day, I never thought about that but it’s a really important connection to make, especially with kids and parents in and out the door with places to be and things to do, all the damn time. Thank you for sharing that.

  7. This GOT me. I feel you 100%. I read this and it was so strong in my thoughts. One day later (I’m in Chicago and on the same school schedule), I saw merely the CHAIRS for 8th grade graduation on the field and LOST IT. (Also then saw an 8th grader in his gown hugging his mom for a LONG time at dropoff and when they pulled back, she goes, “That’s the last time we will ever do that here.” Tears AGAIN.) I don’t even have an 8th grader! I have a 6th grader! But I feel the passage of time keenly. Wasn’t it just yesterday he was in kindergarten and my newborn was strapped to my chest each day? Thank you for this, for always putting your thoughts out to us with such elegant, authentic beautiful writing that just shines. Appreciate you so much!

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