“Pax!” I said. “You got a 100% on your math test?” I don’t normally make a fuss over grades, but it was 7AM and I hadn’t yet had my coffee. I looked closer. “And your teacher wrote here that you did a good job using….cubes? Pax, what are cubes?”
Cubes, he explained (verrry seriously), are when you draw a box around the keywords in a word problem. “Mom, you CIRCLE the numbers, and CUBE the keywords” (emphasis his). Keywords are things like ‘how many’ or ‘have altogether’.
This is actually a pretty genius strategy.
“Hey Raines” I called. “Do you know about cubes? I don’t remember you learning cubes in second grade.” (He likely did….Raines is altogether a different kind of student than his brother: A SILENT ONE. At least from my perspective. He’s also silent on all forms of playground drama, where Pax will give me the full rundown.)
It turns out that Raines did not know about cubes. So Pax ran over to him, all puffed up and excited with his newfound little-brother knowledge, and explained again (and again verrrrry seriously) about his cubes. I stood behind the two brothers, cringing and hoping – to the very bottom of my soul, THE VERY BOTTOM – that Raines would react in a supportive way, that he wouldn’t crush Pax’s moment of glory. I almost couldn’t breathe. In the space of seconds, I died a million times over for all of the mean, snarky comments I made to my own little sister over the years. (Scotti, I’m SO sorry, you babe. I think you are fantastic.) Raines listened, nodded, and then: “Huh. Ok. Yeah. That’s actually…pretty helpful, Pax.”
I slumped over, relieved. Pax walked away calmly, and then, as soon as he thought no one was looking, did a fist pump followed by a jump spin. Mike and I made eye contact, both grinning like fools.
All in all, not a bad way to start the day.
Cuuuute. I just picked up this striped sweatshirt from Madewell. It looks better a little bit fitted, so I went down a size. (And looks seriously good layered over that denim dress I bought. Pic of the dress on IG, here.)
Busted. Since trying on Linzi’s Danskos….I’m completely annoyed by how drawn I am to that cushy sole. So I ordered this pair. And yes, they are velcro. And yes, they are some sort of black-purple-brown color. And YES: they are so comfortable I can’t. even. standit. Gwen totally busted me on the TME IG’s stories, BTW (I wasn’t ready to fully come out as a Dansko-orderer) but since she did: DO WE LIKE THEM? Even now, as I look at the photo, I think maybe I’ve lost my mind. But when on my actual feet – my happy, happy feet – then I find myself right back at……cuuuuuuute.
Yup, still obsessed. My love affair with Reformation knows no bounds. I recently tried on a bunch of dresses (vid coming out soon…I believe it’s what the kids call a ‘haul video’ these days omg) but two of my favorites were this gorgeous green stunner and this little comic book print dress. It’s like a feminist comic book, which is even better. (I sized up in both.)
ps. Get your flu shot. The flu has spent the last week going through Pax, then Raines, and then myself. For some inexplicable reason, I was the hardest hit. I’ve been living in this cozy sweatsuit (top, bottoms) and to quote Linz, who shows up every morning to “help” us get the kids to school on time, “Well….at least your sweatshirt’s cute.” And it’s 30% off until Sunday with code RTW30. (Adding pics to the Weekly Sales Report if you care to check it out.)
Anyone need a flapper costume for Halloween? I happened to stumble across this one on Amazon, and it looks pret-ty amazing for $40. OR THIS ONE. Whoa. The reviews of this brand are glowing.
An anti-racism course for white people. Rachel Cargle, one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking accounts I follow on Instagram, has created a 30-day anti-racism course called Do The Work (you can sign up for free, here). I just signed up – not because I necessarily think I’m racist, but because I find myself thinking about her words long after I’ve read them. I know I’ve written before about my dawning realization (and horror) over the fact that white privilege exists, so I suspect there’s lots to learn in a course like this. Anyone want to take it with me?
Lastly, some perspective. Fatima Ali, a Top Chef contestant, has terminal cancer and has been told that she has one year to live. Her essay in Bon Appetit about the time she has left is the kind of piece that, for me, snaps my life into sharp focus. Cancer brings a sort of…terrible clarity to life. That is its one gift.
I think back to my favorite movie of all time, American Beauty. “I don’t think that there’s anything worse than being ordinary,” Mena Suvari says as she sits with Kevin Spacey’s lecherous character. I was always deathly afraid of being average in any way, and now I desperately wish to have a simple, uneventful life.
Happy weekend, friends. I’m going to do my best to enjoy every last minute out of our weekend – I hope you guys can do the same.
ps. Washington DC, I’m going to be in your hood for the LiketoKnow.it book tour!! It’s this Thursday, Oct 18th from 6-8PM at WeWork (1875 Connecticut NW). Myself and a few other bloggers are going to be doing a little Q&A sesh, if interested. xo!
I just signed to for the class as well. I’ve started doing some of this work, but it seems to me waking up is a process and I need another alarm. Does that metaphor work? You know what I mean.
Thank you for the except written by Fatima Ali ~ beautiful, desperate, gut-wretching sadness is a lot of what I feel. If these are her words, her food must taste amazing!
Your opening story did two things for me: 1) provided a useful tip that I can share with my two boys over math homework and totally blow their mind with my math wisdom and 2) brought tears to my eyes as I held my breath to the finale…I feel, and live, every part of that mom moment. Thanks for sharing!
“It’s” = it is. Its is the possessive adjective, as in, “That is its one gift.”
Love everything about this post. From the cute kid story to the helpful reminder that average is sometimes just perfect. About that Madewell sweatshirt – many reviews say to order a size up? Any thoughts on what’s going on there (maybe the cropped factor)?
I watched your IG story, and those Danskos look SO COOL on. I’m kind of obsessed with them now.
Wonderful boys — your sons are amazing, you and Mike are awesome parents!!!!
Always love your fashion advice, but always so heartwarming to read about your sons as well — hugs!