Overheard at... the bus stop
“What if I gave myself a sticker every time I practiced being flexible this summer?”
HA! We were talking about the challenges of being a summer mom as opposed to a school year mom… and one of the moms came up with this way for rewarding ourselves: A sticker chart with a big reward at the end of the summer
For some of us (not naming any names) the biggest challenge of the summer will be missing the routine of the school year. We will have to practice our calm breathing when our child asks if they can put up a lemonade stand instead of tagging along on the list of errands we had planned to accomplish.
Others will need the strength to fight the workbook battle…the challenge of encouraging the kids to maintain the skills they have learned so that when they return to school it isn’t such a shock to their systems.
Finally there are those who will have to hold themselves back from scheduling a million different ‘fun’ summer activities; so that by the end of the day the kids are such crank-meisters that no one is having any fun at all.
Each of these challenges deserves a sticker when accomplished and a reward at the end of the summer. Because, although summer is fun and is about the kids and isa time to be together…. It is also a landmine filled with fights and battles and tug-of-wars; and I am not talking the kinds that require squirt guns.
Tomorrow I will wake up and it will be the dawn of a new period. One filled with no alarm clock (except that we can’t sleep too late or there will be a bedtime battle), no lunchboxes (except I know we can’t have pizza out every day so I will have to fill the fridge with something healthy), and no homework (except, somehow I will have to create fun ways to encourage math skills).
I force a deep breath and give myself a sticker already for not hyperventilating. It is clear my reward chart will be filled before we even reach the 4th of July.
Happy Summer to all my wonderful mom friends!
Overheard at... Starbucks
“Funnest isn’t a word.”
In my twenties I was the master of making up words; so this conversation brought back fond memories. Words like - havenly, webdom, and annoyingish (or pretty much anything with an ish on the end) come to mind. I would suggest that there is nothing so empowering as creating a word which describes something perfectly.
One of my favorite bloggers, Tamara Out Loud, recently came up with the word jeex and then held a contest to see who could find the best definition. Some of them were pretty funny… but the one I loved best was, Jesus Sex: that type of intimate sex you have with a husband where you feel Gods’ presence in the lovin’.
The idea that as individuals we have the power to change one of the most fundamental aspects of culture (language) is both outrageous and powerful. It may also explain why I felt comfortable, indeed compelled, to do this in my twenties but now find the idea smacks of arrogance. Who am I to challenge words which have developed over centuries of use?
This is true not just with words though. I finally understand why it is always the young people who challenge the status quo. I hate to admit it, but I have become fatalistic in my philosophy… fatalistic and accepting. It is not only that I believe I cannot change things… but more often that I am humble enough to see that my changes may not always be for the best.
And this is where arrogance helps. Because, when you believe you are an innovator and influencer, than you are not so worried about nitty details like appropriate usage.
GrammarGirl says it best when describing Steve Jobs’ usage of the word funnest:
…(he) just thrust "funnest" into the spotlight. I predict the "funnest iPod ever" campaign will increase the general use of "funnest" and could even push it into the informal usage category. Now that's power.
Not just power, but the powerest!
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