Articles by "Shannon, Author at Quirks & Recreation"
22 May
2017
Posted in: parenting
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No Ugly Crying for Me

teen earning an award at school

Warning: I’ve become a spontaneous crier. In fairness to myself, I’ve always been a crier, but lately, my tears seemingly flow on a daily basis. I can’t keep them at bay and really have stopped trying. I’ve promised our children I’ll stop myself before I’m at the ugly cry level, but that’s as much as I can pinkie swear about.

Thankfully, the tears are happy(ish) for the most part. We’re finishing up another school year, my ninth as a mom, and transitioning our oldest from middle school to high school. He’s capable and ready for this next step, but I’m struggling with wrapping my head around the idea that we’ll have a freshman in high school in just 10 days. I don’t know how the math even works for this. I don’t feel old enough to be the mother of a high school student, and I’m pretty sure that kid just learned to walk last month. Time is full of nonsense.

I’m grateful for theses healthy, happy, (slightly hormonal) children. They truly are the best gift and also the most aggravating. Recently I ordered a product that came with directions only in Mandarin. Parenting is like trying to figure out how that tech product worked. There’s a lot of guess work, hoping for the best and praying that what I just did won’t ruin everything.

I watch our four kids and my heart might burst simply from them being mine and just existing. Tell me something good about one of them, and I will cry, just ask several people tonight at the 8th grade award ceremony. I cry for equal parts of joy for whatever they’ve accomplished, relief that others see how fantastic they are and sadness that we’re catapulting through this phase of life at warp speed.

I cannot stop the tears. You probably shouldn’t go in for the hug if I look emotional. Hugging triggers my ugly cry reflex, and I don’t want to break my promise.


 
By     |    May 18, 2017
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How to Not Take a Compliment

It seems I have at least one child who hasn’t a clue on how to take a compliment. I was surrounded by 6th graders at a presentation and heard eight different children qualify compliments they were given. A simple, “You’re painting was lovely,” was met with “Thanks, but it’s trash.” Or “I didn’t work hard enough.” Or “There are better ones.” Not one of the eight children replied with a simple thank you. Even my son replied back to a... [Read More]

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Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
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Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

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For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
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For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

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Read Between the Lines
By     |    Apr 17, 2017
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Read Between the Lines

I sat at my aunt’s kitchen table surrounded by various members of my extended family attempting to write my grandpa’s obituary. I started with the bookend dates of his 88 years of life and filled in the years he served in the U.S. Navy and the decades he worked. There’s his wedding and number of children. There are the countless organizations he belonged to giving a glimpse at what he believed was important. I’m rarely at a loss for words... [Read More]

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That Time I Danced in a Competition
By     |    Apr 11, 2017
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That Time I Danced in a Competition

I collapsed under friendly peer pressure and danced in a Spotlight Dance Cup Regional competition last weekend…on a stage…with an audience and judges. Gulp. It all started last summer when I took an adult ballet class to better understand my daughter and her passion for dance. I heard rumors that our studio director wanted to do a moms and dads dance for this season. Not happening. I enjoyed class but was not going on stage. I repeat, I was not... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Badlands National Park
By     |    Apr 3, 2017
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Take a Trip: Badlands National Park

We visited Badlands National Park for the fourth time this weekend. After several friends mentioned not knowing about the park, which is four hours from our home, I thought it needed some love. Our first three visits to the park were in the summer months when it’s crowded and hot. A spring visit was much more to our liking. There were no crowds. We didn’t have to circle around for a parking spot at the visitor center or any trailhead.... [Read More]

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Joy in a Staycation
By     |    Mar 27, 2017
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Joy in a Staycation

My preference is to leave town whenever possible. I like to explore and discover new places. We’re on a staycation this spring break, and I was dreading it. I longed to spend our five school-free weekdays somewhere other than here. We’re stockpiling vacation days for an upcoming summer road trip, so home is where we are for the week. Technically we have small getaways planned for the weekends buffering spring break week and a small excursion mid-week. We’re only partially on... [Read More]

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The Thing About Grief
By     |    Mar 24, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

The Thing About Grief

I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

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If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook
By     |    Mar 22, 2017
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If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook

This morning my youngest son asked what the hardest part is of parenting. It took me a few minutes to decide. Not being able to fix heartbreak. Not being able to fix injuries. Watching time slip through my fingers. Making sure everyone feels listened to and treated fairly. All possible answers. The one I gave him: there’s no guidebook. Sure there are plenty of books on parenting. I remember with our oldest flipping through “What to Expect the First Year”... [Read More]

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That Time Elton John Saved My Sanity
By     |    Mar 16, 2017
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That Time Elton John Saved My Sanity

I know I sound melodramatic, but Elton John may have saved my sanity. We’re awful at setting time aside for just the two of us. We have dinner dates at home after kids are in bed with takeout and a movie but are pros at having a litany of excuses for not leaving the house on dates. There’s not enough time. There are other ways to spend money. Quite frankly, we’re tired. Craig enters contests regularly and has won some... [Read More]

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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

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