Friday, May 27, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Mental Wellness Day, Turning 40, and the Fruit Equivalent of False Advertising

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


May is mental health awareness month, and today is mental wellness day at the high school. It's a half day and the kids have no structured classes; they listen to a speaker talk about mental health and then do various activities like watercolor painting outside or petting a dog or yoga or whatever.

My 16-year-old told me about it and said, "I think the best thing I could do for my mental health is sleep in." So she's staying home and skipping mental wellness day, but only for wellness purposes.


Sunday was my birthday! I'm forty now. 

Ten years ago when I had my 30th birthday, it felt a little rocky. It was a big adjustment going from my 20s (you can still play a high schooler on TV) to my 30s (you're ma'am in the grocery store now.) But I think your 40s are virtually identical to your 30s, so I had no specific feelings about this birthday.

I was crabby that day about everyone leaving their stuff everywhere and not cleaning up after themselves, but I doubt that was age-specific since I've been nagging people about that for at least a hundred years now.


My 10-year-old made me a birthday card with a picture of a big old slice of Swiss and the words "You're awesome! You're almost as awesome as cheese."

She handed it to me and then confessed, "I don't really like cheese."

I'll let you think about that, because I don't think she did.


Because Phillip knows I'm currently obsessed with learning Spanish, he got me two books for my birthday. One is a Spanish-language novel that's a little ambitious for my current level of proficiency, but the other one is perfect and I'm reading it right now:

According to Scholastic Books, this is for kids ages 8-12, but I already knew that because my kids have checked it out in English from the library before.

Smile! is a kids' graphic novel about a girl who goes through braces and dental surgery and headgear and all that stuff. I'm enjoying it, even if it does take me a long time to get through because I have to stop so often to look things up. Plus, I'm learning lots of new teeth-related vocabulary.

I may struggle mightily to put together basic sentences in Spanish, but at least now I have the word sobremordida in my pocket in case I'm ever stranded in Central America and need to talk to someone about my overbite. 


I've been spending a lot of time on my language exchange app, texting and talking with native Spanish-speakers. Sometimes we talk in Spanish, sometimes English so we can both practice the languages we're trying to learn.

At dinner one night we were talking about our respective days, and I shared that I'd taught a friend from Mexico the English word "diaper." 

"How do you say 'diaper' in Spanish?" my 6-year-old asked.

"PaƱal," I told him.

A mischievous grin spread across his face and he asked, "How do you say 'You are a __________'"?

6-year-olds are so subtle. I'm 100% sure that within a week I'll be getting calls from the school about my kindergartner running around calling people diapers in Spanish on the playground.


The other morning I was startled by a loud knock at the door. I answered it and was startled to see two police officers standing there. 

"Is everything okay?" one of them asked me.

I'm sure I looked like a deer in the headlights and stammered yes, wondering why they were asking me that and was something wrong with Phillip or one of the kids.

"There's some road work going on a few blocks over and they thought they heard a woman screaming," the officer explained, and then we both looked over at the neighbor's yard where a series of shrill, piercing yelps was coming from their very yippy dog.

"Sorry to bother you, Ma'am," the officers said, and headed over to the neighbor's house.

Hilarious? Yes. But my flight or fight response kicked in after they left, and I started sweating buckets thinking of all the bad news they could've been there to deliver. Yikes.


After every meet, my son's track team recognizes a runner who did an exceptionally good job. In cross-country they started giving out pineapples and calling it the Golden Pineapple Award, and then it carried over to track where they do the same thing but with dragonfruit.

So my son came home with a dragonfruit.

Have you ever seen a dragonfruit? It is the weirdest thing. It looks so beautiful with its vivid reddish pink skin and unusual shape. And then you cut it open and it looks even more exotic, like a kiwi but with white flesh. So you have all these high expectations for how in the world this marvelous fruit will taste and then you cut it open and scoop some out and it's like... wet paper.

I didn't take any pictures because I didn't think of it, but here's a video of kids trying weird fruit so you can see what it looks like.

Happy weekend, guys!

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1 comment:

mbmom11 said...

Happy Birthday!
40 is wonderful - it's like a license to not care about anything you don't want to anymore. And less self conscious about asking for things. It's a liberating time!
As much as I would like the energy levels of my late 20's again, the confidence and complete lack of interest in other's opinions I have after 40 is so worth it.
(Not in a sociopathic way - just knowing what's important, what's small, and what is just stupid traditions or expectations I have no intention of fulfilling.)