Summery Sunday & the Tuesday Three

You have to love a moment like this one. I took two teens, one nine year-old and a four year-old to dinner. The conversation moved to jokes, obviously—and our resident smallest jokester turned out to have brilliant delivery.

Saskia: “Why did the cow cross the road? To get to the grocery store. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the movies.”

Sunday was filled with adorable babies and children of many ages and a less pressured sense of everything I have to do. A crew of parents and smalls picked the very last blueberries humans may get at our friend’s blueberry haven. There are plenty left for birds this week. I hung with an infant while her mom took a shower—if you’re missing the truth that this constituted a huge highlight of my day then you are actually missing the truth that this was a huge highlight of my day—and then hung with four of the cutest four-and-under kids. For a while before our dinner in town there were four kids around a computer game and two teens at the table doing a puzzle. Again, puzzles seem like a summer gem, as do those Horrible Geography books, which the reluctant reader happily read on the couch in the early morning. I’d ordered two of them, which he deemed “cool.” After his spectacular week doing Biocitizen, no surprise he reached for Raging Rivers before Odious Oceans.


I mention this day of hanging out here and there because it felt so like the summer I’d really longed for. Truth is that on the one hand this summer has felt summery—and I’ve even surprised myself by getting to do more of what’s on my overly ambitious summer list than I’d imagined or hoped. On the other hand, though, I faced a series of deadlines like dominoes that were stressful in a mostly good way, the less-good way being that summer isn’t the most abundant in terms of uninterrupted time because each week is so different from the one before and that choppiness contributes to little “groove” for a work-from-home freelance writer mom. The sliver lining there, though, is how very much I’ve ignored my kids. Sure, there’s been more television than had I dictated the day’s activities in a let’s-do-this fashion. But there has been plenty of puzzles and wandering and tennis ball against the barn door hitting. I feel like their do-nothingness has perhaps come on the back of my deadlines, but hey, I am really pro-benign neglect and do-nothingness for my kids. I was glad I got some over the weekend, too.

We got to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday, too. Do you think the adorable baby she’s with in the photo was the most-popular girl at the party? If you say yes, you’re right.


It’s Tuesday and so, having shared the goodness of that Sunday—and the fact that I have ended up without effort at number six that very day, holding the lovely baby E. and also number nine and a ways toward 22—I’ll spare you more that is good in my life. You can share yours, with me in comments or just amongst yourselves; that’s the point, like poison ivy only nice, three good things spreads.

Via my friend-I-admire Andie Fox at Blue Milk came this lovely post on a mother’s mission to have her kids be bored—and a very good rationale as to why. Loved this of course, given my earlier comments in regards to boredom and my kids’ summer.

Like so many people, Gabby Douglas, imminent Olympian gymnast for the US, has me excited to watch her smile and fly through the air. I gobbled up this article on her and teammate Jordyn Wieber, whose personality is not so bubbly. It has me thinking about all kinds of things related to women and sports and more.

Finally, because I wrote my MFA critical paper—the scholarly component of my creative writing degree—about Katherine Mansfield’s story Prelude, I have antennae up about KM and was riveted by this story about a graduate student’s “find” of unpublished and overlooked short stories in her archives, including a short story that offers biographical information she’d destroyed evidence of when she was living. It’s juicy and sad. I’m grateful to Becs on Twitter for the find. Have I said before that I like Twitter? It changes my real life in surprising ways.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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