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Date archive for: May 2013

No, I Won't Go to Your Kid's Show

The last few weeks of the school year are a grueling gauntlet — a narrow, clamorous chute of activity that swallows every last hour of a family’s free time. Evening performances. Weekend tournaments. Early-morning muffin-and-melon affairs in Appreciation of Someone or Other. The only way to get through it all is to keep your eyes focused straight ahead and be impervious to distractions.

It’s like Zumba class or (from what I’ve been told) the urinals in a public restroom: You’re supposed to just mind your own shakey-shake and pay no attention to the person next to you.

And yet you have a friend — we all do — who is going to break this sensible, unspoken rule and invite you to her child’s concert/meet/ recital/play-off even as you’re scrambling for something clean to wear to your own kid’s ceremony/championship/potluck/musical. And when you don’t show up to her child’s event, because, let’s face it, you haven’t hit a grocery store in 19 days and your family is eating old trail mix for breakfast, she is going to judge you. She is going to raise her eyebrows, purse her lips unattractively, and be wounded by your conspicuous absence.

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Backyard Chickens a Fowl Idea?

It seemed like such a good idea. And it was — until it clucking wasn’t.

Last week, I dragged my family for an overnight stay at a working farm. They didn’t want to go; it was a long drive, and they had concerts and ball games to attend back home. But I thought it would do us good to get off the grid for just a single stolen day — to slow our pace, dirty our hands, smell weird stuff, and touch base with our agrarian, distinctly non-iPodian roots.

We fed pigs and cooked flapjacks on a wood-burning stove (you’re required to call them flapjacks in these circumstances). We petted sheep and hauled logs in a wooden wagon and had a ferret habitat cage visit. We chased chickens and collected their warm, pastel-colored eggs. It was farmulous.

To be honest, though, my favorite part was leaving. To me, that’s why you go on hikes, or camping, or visiting working farms — so you can fully appreciate how clean and bug-less and easy your life is back home and so that the next time you’re inclined to whine about the timer of your Cuisinart Grind-and-Brew Thermal 10-cup coffee maker going off an hour too early, you can just be immensely thankful you don’t have dirt in your teeth.

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