Last Saturday, the boys wanted to head out to the park to play basketball. I was in the midst of unpacking and feeling some kind of way about the situation. I didn’t want their help (literally there is nothing worse), but I wasn’t about to be that miserable on my own.
So, I invented a chore.
Drawing from the most cliche of the mom cliches, I told the boys that they had to clean their rooms first. A few years ago, this entire situation would have been laughable. Not only were the boys too young to wander the city on their own, but a request like this would’ve resulted in Pax rolling on the floor, screaming, while Raines wandered around despondently, quietly weeping.
Very different techniques, both highly effective.
But it dawns on me, as they go off to clean their rooms, that this was, perhaps, the first time I’ve ever uttered the phrase, “you can go when your rooms are clean!”
Thanks to the pandemic, we haven’t really followed the normal path of kid independence. My kids went into the pandemic as children who needed supervision, and came out of it as kids who go off to play basketball. (After theoretically cleaning their rooms.)
After my edict, they went downstairs to (again, theoretically) “clean their rooms”. They were both gone for an appropriate amount of minutes. I heard drawers opening and closing (a good sign), an argument or two (a very good sign), and then, at some point later, they re-appeared in the doorway.
“We’re done,” they said.
Like a rookie, I swooned a little and gave some kisses, then reminded them to take their phones and off they went. I mentally gave myself a little “good mom” pat.
YOU ARE WELCOME, FUTURE SPOUSES OF MY PERFECT BOYS.
Later, as I was doing laundry, I popped into Raines’ room only to find…
Piles and piles and piles of carefully stacked stuff, teetering around his room. And! The pillows from his bed were on the floor, one (obviously overstuffed) drawer had shirts hanging out of it, and, inexplicably, there was nothing in his closet.
Everything the kid owns had been stacked somewhere on the floor.
I sagged against the doorframe and started doing some deep breathing exercises. Was he messing with me? His stuff has been so deliberately stacked that I am now confused.
“MIKE!!!!” I bellow. “RAINES DID NOT. CLEAN. HIS. ROOM!!!!”
I hear rustling noises from below. I breathe some more, waiting. Mike is not one to be hurried. Nor does he typically agree on what I deem “urgent”. Six years later, he ambles up. Peers in. “Oh,” he says. “Yeah. Raines…cleaned his room.” He points. “Look at those stacks.” He sounds impressed.
I stomp down the hallway, intent on doing, well, something, when I spot Pax’s room.
Pax’s room is…spotless. Every book is lined up, his desk is completely clear, his curtain has been opened, his bed is made and those ridiculous silk pajamas (that my mom got him for Christmas) are nicely draped across his bed.
All the kid is missing is a chocolate on his pillow.
Mike comes up behind me, there is a moment of shocked silence, and then we both dissolve into snort-laughter.
I’d try to take credit for Pax, but it’s not even me. Frankly, I’m more like Raines — Mike and I both are. My “organization skills” are hard-earned; they definitely don’t come naturally. Pax, on the other hand, is exactly like…my Dad.
God help us all.
Aggressively long. I’ve been trying to find a pair of longer denim shorts I actually like (I know, I know, I usually wear shorts that look like denim underwear), and in my searching I tried on these Anine Bing denim shorts that are almost…denim short-pants? Denim gauchos? Clearly I need to work on my marketing here, but suffice it to say there is something v. compelling about these aggressively long shorts. Especially since they basically hit at my knees (unlike the model, who must be 7 ft tall). They’re tomboyish, and deliberately, unapologetically cool.
One more. I do eventually have an article coming out on long denim shorts, but as a sneak peek, I was also really impressed with Pistola’s long denim shorts. The vibe is also very tomboy, but at a lower price point than the Anine Bing. These shorts are lighter and stretchier, too. The key difference is that the Bing shorts read very much as Fashion (and could easily be paired with heels), where these are much more casual and low-key.
Just me, or does Athleta make the best freaking workout tanks? I’ve been wearing Athleta’s Aurora crop ribbed tank for over a year, and it still looks (and fits) like new. I love that the ribbed fabric is thick enough to smooth over lumps and bumps (yet still wicks). I just tried their latest version, the Aurora Scoop Cropped Tank, and it might be my favorite yet. It’s that same ribbed fabric, but in a flattering square neckline. I also like how the crop is long enough to end just at the top of high-rise leggings.
Full circle. Gang…I’ve stopped looking for jeans. I’m sure this won’t be a permanent situation, I mean, of course, I’ll eventually start looking again (right?), but I’ve been so happy with one particular pair that they’re…all I’ve been wearing. Seriously, these jeans are it for me. They are — deep breath — 7 For All Mankind Bootcut Jeans. If that isn’t full freaking circle, I don’t know what is. Anyway, they’re currently on sale, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. (I have them in a size 27, fit is pretty TTS.)
I love earrings, but…they usually end up bothering my ears. Linz has teased me on several occasions for entering a restaurant, saying hello, and then, once we’re all seated, removing my earrings and slipping them into my purse. Earrings are only for hellos. But these giant, super-lightweight gold hoops are the one exception, and they’re on sale. I can happily wear these babies all day. (Or almost all day.)
It’s back! Last summer, when Clare V. didn’t re-release their straw Pot de Miel bag, I got nervous that it was over for good. Happily, they saw the light, because it’s back! If you recall, I did a whole ‘worth it’ article on this exact bag. It’s now been four years, and is still my go-to bag for spring, summer…and even into fall.
Up on YouTube: I go in-depth on the six pairs of sneakers I’d recommend instead of Golden Goose. So if you ever wanted to see some of the sneaks featured here on an actual person…this is for you.
A good read. I just finished How To Stop Time and loved it. It was the kind of book that ended up dominating my thoughts. The concept — of a man aging suuuuper slowly — was fascinating, but I also appreciated that the plot had some fun twists and turns so the pacing was more like the sci-fi I’m used to (rather than some long, drawn-out, thinking novel). I devoured it.
C’mon, boys. Mike bought me an Oura ring as an early Mother’s Day present. He loves his, and knows that I’ve really been struggling with sleep lately. Sleep has always been an issue for me, but now that I’m basically going through menopause (or about to be), the insomnia and night sweats have been ROUGH. As I was setting up my Oura ring, though, it asks you a series of questions that made it pretty damn clear that women need to be much more involved in the development. In terms of sleep goals, the only one that applied was “Improve my health” which led me to another screen where I had to identify why my sleep was disrupted. My choice were things like shift work, sharing a bed, small kids, travel, or…”sleep disorders/other illnesses”. Um. Are we describing a normal life phase as an “illness”? Cause I’ve had actual illnesses and you guys can go fuck yourselves.
If ever there was a time to eat less beef, it’s now. A recent article by the Washington Post is talking about the link between the beef currently being sold at Kroger, Albertsons, and a few other grocery chains…and the illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. Guys, this shit is scary. The Amazon has been called the planet’s “carbon sink” and Scientists are worried that if the Amazon loses 20-25% of its forest, it will turn into a dry savannah, bringing about catastrophic warming that we cannot curb. Current estimates of deforestation? Are already at 17%. Personally, I believe real change can only come about in the form of laws and regulations, but I do wonder what would happen if we all cut beef consumption by some significant amount. Likely a naïve thought, but perhaps it would weaken the meat industry’s ties on politicians? (And to make matters worse, the leader of Brazil, Bolsonaro, is a terrifying, authoritarian figure who (in addition to opening up the Amazon for further deforestation and mining) is already calling election foul well in advance of Brazil’s next election. Trumpian? Absolutely.) If anyone wants to join me, I published our vegan weeknight meal plan a while back. And remember there’s always chicken.
What I’m making this weekend: this super green soup, served with warm, crusty bread. It’s delicious.