Maybe it’s the weather. Although to be fair, we live in Atlanta, so if our friends and family from Chicago came down to visit today, it would probably feel like spring break. But even though we aren’t walking around in weather that is the same as Mt. Everest or Antarctica (seriously… Antarctica?), it is still cold. Okay… coldish. But I’m still blaming the weather for my current lack of motivation. And I’ll also blame parenting. Because parenting teenagers is hard and since they live on social media, us bloggers can’t post a lot of the nitty gritty stuff like we could when they were little.
Sometimes I miss my early blogging days when being a Mom With Toddlers provided endless inspiration and I never had to worry about offending them. I could write about all of it. I routinely wrote posts about how they threw daily morning tantrums about what to wear, wore the same leotard every (single) day backwards and accompanied only by rain boots, and occasionally and joyfully announced that they weren’t wearing underwear on the way to preschool. And by “they” I mean Kate.
But as Moms of Teenagers, we can’t really do that anymore. Because their lives are becoming more theirs than ours. And privacy and the space to deal with things within the confines of their lives and their people is immensely important. I can only imagine if my mom was authoring a blog and wrote about our lives in detail when I was a teenager… let’s just say that my daughters come by there Very Big Feelings naturally and it’s nice to not have any documentation of those moments.
So with the weather and this season that we’re in, I find myself turning to books and Netflix and podcasts more often than usual. It all just makes me feel like I should be hibernating right now and since I get bored easily, I want to have lots of interesting things around to entertain myself.
Here are the things that have been my best things lately…
Netflix is my love language. Seriously. If you will sit on the couch and binge-watch a good show with me, pour me some wine, and share my snacks, I will love you for eternity. Like most things in our lives, Ryan is somewhere down on the other side of the spectrum. He likes it okay… but he is not as passionate about about TV as I am and really doesn’t love the binging lifestyle like I do. His heart does not fill with joy upon seeing the “the next episode will begin in 5 seconds…” like mine does. He has his moments, but it’s not really his strength. I love him anyway.
I am very happy to report that my daughters inherited my binging gene and they can binge like little bosses and this makes me immensely proud. So this list will include a show I watch with Ryan and one that I watch with the girls. Because I am the glue that holds this family together and having multiple shows with multiple family members is the price I pay. It’s hard, you guys… but it’s the cross I bear.
You. Have you seen this yet? Holy crap. If I was a lesser wife, I would have watched the entire season in a couple of days, but Ryan thinks it’s important to do things like sleep and talk to each other so it took us a couple of weeks. Whatever. You is basically this guy, Joe, who owns a bookstore and falls in love with this girl, Beck. This quickly turns to some low-key stalking and then… well, you just have to watch it. He narrates the show, which gives the creepiness this compassionate edge and the show tilts between the two constantly. It’s so good.
Atypical. Also on Netflix and the girls and I are obsessed. We just randomly found it last weekend and are already midway through Season 2, because we are super good at binging. Take note, Ryan. I hadn’t heard a thing about it, but I love it so much. The dad is played by Michael Rapaport and the mom is played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, who you’ll kind of hate as much as you did when she was in Single White Female and the sheer volume of plastic surgery she’s had will make you cringe, but it’s going to be okay. And you’ll love the show anyway. Their oldest son is a senior in high school and has autism, so it centers around how he interacts with the world… it’s tender, enlightening, and funny. It’s easy and sweet, but has a beautiful depth and poignancy to it that we love so much. He has a sister and a best friend who are the actual best– like we want them in our lives immediately.
I listen to podcasts for most of my awake life that I am not writing, reading, talking to people, or watching something… which ends up being a decent amount of time. So I have a lot of podcasts queued up. But the one that I am loving the very most right now because it marries all of my favorite things so perfectly is the Bachelor Recap Show brought to us by The Popcast team. I tell you with absolutely no shame that I pay $3 per month to be a patreon supporter of The Popcast so that I can listen to the Bachelor/Bachelorette Recap Shows. Because there is NOTHING better than watching the Bachelor with my daughters on Monday night and then listening to two of the funniest people on earth download it all the next day.
I routinely make a complete fool of myself walking through Kroger, on the treadmill, or cleaning my bathrooms belly-laughing out loud to myself. I share it with my daughters who also love it. Side note, judge all you want, but I get a tremendous amount of joy from the fact that my thirteen-year-old comes home from school on Monday and yells, “It’s Bachelor Monday, Squad!!” as if she has declared a national holiday. I appreciate that Knox and Jamie help us both make sense and hysterical fun out of something as ridiculous and absurd as the Bachelor and Bachelorette.
Usually I have a couple of books going at one time. But I also get most of my books from the library, so I have a time limit. And since I’m not the fastest reader, I try and stick to one book if it’s from the library, which is the case right now. I’m reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah and it’s a goodie. At the end of last year, I read The Great Alone, and The Nightingale before that. Both of which were immediate favorites. As soon as I find an author I love, I start looking for and reading other stuff they’ve written which is how I ended up with this book from 2011. I am a little less than halfway through and already so much has happened! It’s about a mom who is raising twins (Lexi and Zach), who are in high school and she’s kind of helicoptery. Lexi, who has been in and out of foster homes, ends up moving nearby with her aunt when they are freshman and they all become best friends. It’s this story of motherhood and friendship and love… and it’s all hitting home since we are in a similar life stage. And since it’s Kristin Hannah, it’s also hitting me right in the gut because that is what she does to us.
And despite the fact that it’s not the epic, Siberian cold here that the Midwest is experiencing, it’s still pretty dang cold. Cold enough for normal people to wear, say, a winter coat. Except for my thirteen-year-old, along with most of her seventh grade peers, who has decided that a sweatshirt will suffice. Today she compromised and wore a long-sleeved shirt underneath. And for a moment I had this flashback of her as a toddler, to so many days spent pleading with her to just wear something… like just actual clothes. Any clothes. And I thought of how well it has prepared me to seriously not even care about her lack of outerwear. If she’s cold, she’ll wear a coat. Or she’ll be cold. Whatever man… at least it’s not a leotard. And I’ll forget it all anyway as soon as she sits down next to me and turns on Netflix.