Friday, July 8, 2022

7 Quick Takes about an All-American Holiday, Offbeat Recipe Suggestions, and Interesting Ways to Discover Your Personality

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


Let's start with 4th of July! Phillip had the day off work and our daughter who was working in the morning had her shift unexpectedly switched to the afternoon, so we spent the first part of the day together having an extremely all-American 4th of July.

I heard that a nearby collegiate summer baseball league was having a dirt-cheap Independence Day game, and I thought, "Hey, why not?" Phillip used to watch sports in his other life (the one B.C., or before children) and what better time to introduce the kids to it than now?

It was everything we'd hoped for and more. The kids got the full experience: melting in the heat, listening to random organ music clips they always play at ball games, eating mediocre hot dogs from the concession stand. Even the amusing drunk superfan was seated right in our section and he was hilarious.


Because it was the kids' first time seeing a baseball game, Phillip and I had to explain the rules about six times (once for each child.) 

When we asked what everyone thought of it after the first few innings, my 18-year-old said, "Baseball is... a bunch of highly-skilled guys standing around doing nothing for most of the time."

Which is why I never encouraged my kids to try out for baseball when they were younger. If they did, I'd have to come to their games, and the only thing more boring that standing around doing nothing is watching someone standing around doing nothing.

I have so much respect for you tee-ball and baseball parents. I just don't have what it takes.


After the game, we went to a fireworks store and carefully selected ones we thought would be cool enough for the kids to enjoy but not so cool they'd start a fire or blow anyone's fingers off

I think we did a good job, because one of the kids asked afterward if we can do this again next year instead of going to an actual fireworks show. And everyone still has all their fingers.

Not a witch's coven, just my kids playing with sparklers.

"It looks like everyone is glitching!" my 6-year-old said, using video game-speak to describe the ones that flashed like strobe lights for about 20 seconds. They soon discovered they could watch their own shadows against the garage as they went off:

It was a ton of fun. Of course we paid for it dearly the next day when everyone was super-tired and grumpy, but I think that's pretty American, too.


The other day, I was scrolling through Filter Free Parents' Pinterest page, which looks like this:

Article after article on family/home/parenting topics.

But that's a zoomed-out shot of the page. What I was really seeing was a few images at a time as I was scrolling down the page, and as I was scrolling the image on one article and the title of the next lined up like this:

Anyway, it sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it!


Have you forgotten anything important this week? Was it as important as driving a friend and her family of 5 to the airport to go to France for a month? Because that's what I did.

When I was supposed to be picking up my friend, I'd lost track of time sanding and prepping the exterior doors of our house for painting, and she had to call me several times before I heard the phone ringing and raced over to her place with sawdust in my hair. 

Luckily, though, she'd left a generous time buffer (meant for her three young children, not me) and they still got to the airport in plenty of time. 

I joke about it but I really did feel terrible about my high-stakes brain fart. I understand I'll probably never be her ride to anything time-specific again (which is frankly in her best interest since I'm always late) but I hope we're still friends when she gets back.


My oldest leaves for college in a month and a half. People are freaking me out, the way they lower their voice and sympathetically ask me "How are you doing?" like we just had a death in the family.

Maybe I'm in denial, maybe I'm too preoccupied with the logistics of getting her ready to go, but right now it doesn't feel sad. 

If anything, it's starting to feel a little awkward for this competent adult to be living here who for some reason still has to ask me if she can go out with her friends. I've always thought a lot about intentionally raising independent kids and right now it seems like having her live on her own is the most obvious next step. It's just time.

And then I was listening to this podcast and realized maybe it's also because I also reject what the host Jen Fulwiler calls "the Western individualistic mindset." I never saw our family as a stepping stone, where my job was to temporarily nurture each child so they could separately and individually leave it and cut the strings one day. Instead, I always thought my job as a mother was to orchestrate the weaving of a dense network of family relationships that will always be part of the fabric of the kids' lives, and that they'll never stop being contributing members of it.

So there's the reason why I don't think I feel sad. But I guess call me three weeks after it actually happens and we'll see about that.


My 16-year-old approached me and said "I just took a really weird personality test that's supposed to tell you what career to have."

"How was it weird?" I asked.

"I can't explain it," she said, handing me her phone. "You'll just have to take it."

And now I pass it on to you, dear readers. Click here to take the test, and have fun!

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mbmom11 said...

that was a weird but accurate personality test. I'm conventional and realistic. Math teacher and mom of many suits me!

Caitlin Spearson said...

Well I'm an actuary, and that was one of the jobs suggested for me. I'm kind of impressed!

PurpleSlob said...

Ooooh! A weird test!! Pick me!!
I love everything about your week!!

Anonymous said...

I love your week, too! Ha ha, my family also doesn't watch or do team sports, but after 4 girls, now I have a 2 year old boy who looks longingly at ball fields, I look at the parents hanging out in their fold-up chairs and shudder...

I am a huge Jen Fulwiler fan! How fun to run into a mention of her on your blog!

Thanks for sharing about your oldest going off to college. Mine is also heading off to college this fall, and I love how you applied the take from Jen to this big transition. It makes it seem not like a loss, but like just a shift in how this interconnected web of relationships in our family will continue to ... be connected, and support each other. Love it!