I know some people want their kids to be smart or athletic or beautiful. But really the top of the list for me is kind. I want my children to recognize other people's humanity and to respect and uplift that. Above all else, be kind.
Wisdom from Cleo Wade.
This past weekend, the entire family spent three days together in New York City. The little dudes are pretty used to urban life, but New York City holds wonder for everyone, even long-time residents. It was great when we took a moment, slowed down, and tried to see the city through their eyes. They found wonder and magic.
That doesn’t mean it was a hassle-free trip…it was as exhausting as any trip with children can be. But it means if you don’t believe something can be good, it won’t be.
Patricia Lockwood writes in Priestdaddy:
"I have lived for the last eight years in seasonless places, where things do not die, but revolve in a constant tropic sun. I had forgotten how the fall sharpens pencils, gray and colored ones. I had forgotten that when you pay attention to the seasons, you are returned to school and all its feelings, the freedom of three o’clock and the nameless dread of Sunday night, when the sky looms over you like the deadline of some paper you haven’t even started. I want to drink cocoa out of a thermos; I want to go to a high school football game."
I've always loved back to school, because it contains new school supplies, and also because it happens during the crisp new days of fall. This time of year has always felt more of a new beginning than January 1. As Lockwood notes, the fall sharpens everything - cleaning up the air, our schedules, energy levels. The oppressive summer sun gives way to dappled sidewalks and luminous leaves; the warmth of the days lingers from summer and the cool of the nights borrow from winter; the Earth feels habitable again. A new start.
And with that new start: a fresh notebook, and unblemished cases full of those freshly sharpened pencils. Prepped to begin in earnest. Both gray and colored pencils, at the ready. The work and the play of autumn.
It’s the last weekend of summer - try to acknowledge and be present for it.