Little Dude Man

Being in elementary school full time is a lot for 5 and 6 year olds-even 7 year olds. Last year when Jack went to Kindergarten in Manhattan, I couldn’t believe how drastic the jump was in expectations and time commitment for a child his age.

When the kids first started in this new school district in Santa Cruz, I was completely confounded as to why there would be an early release every single Wednesday for the entire year. I’ve been thrilled to have my kids home earlier than usual in many ways-they’re less wiped out at the end of the day and I get to spend a little more time with them.

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Summer, it seems, is here already as temps have risen to nearly the 100’s the last couple of days. It’s a welcome change for me personally, I love the humidity-free heat and welcome the sunshine whole heartedly. I can celebrate it now, whereas last year being cooped up in air-conditioning in the city was not the ideal situation for anyone. We are outdoor people at our core, even though I’ve been recently spending a great deal of time in front of the computer.

One of my greatest struggles lately is finding moments to spend with each of the kids individually. Jack had requested for Mother’s Day that we go get a frozen yogurt together “like we used to do in New York City”. While we haven’t gotten to do that just yet, I decided to play hooky yesterday and hang out with him. It felt like a mid-week vacation.

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Yesterday after early-release I made the decision to leave Beau home to nap with Theo in the care of our babysitter, while Zoe went to see a movie with a friend, and I took Jack and his buddy to the beach. It’s incredible to me how rapidly he’s turning into the confident, smart, beautiful boy that he is maturing into.

Although, he refers to everyone as “dude” a little more often than I’d probably like. It’s so cute though I that can’t tell him not to.

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The beach was packed, and there was even a pod of dolphins swimming close enough for most of us to see them.

We went home a little bit pink, a lot exhausted, and my heart was more full than it has been in a really long time. I even ordered a pizza and sat with Zoe while she created one of her amazing story books instead of spending an hour in the kitchen alone.

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It’s such a good reminder to make the time and more so the arrangements to get these moments with each child individually-I actually feel the difference it makes in each of us so, so much.


Join the Conversation


  • Love this! How wonderful to have these one on one times! πŸ™‚

  • Is this Natural Bridges beach? Looks like it. I spent so many summer days there with my family as a kid and now as a mom with my own kiddos. Those tide pools!! What a lovely day for you.

  • Hi Jessica,

    I’m not a mother, I’m just a 20-something struggling to find my way in a big city. But your blog has given me so much comfort and hope. You have such a beautiful way of reminding people to appreciate the small things and live in the present. Congrats on all your success–you deserve it!!

  • What a special day!! Your kiddos are so precious!

  • The best gift you can give them is time with you. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for this post! I have a 14 month old boy, and I’m currently on leave from work to stay home with him. I’m sometimes struggle to balance things and sit and play with him instead of doing house chores, cooking, etc but I’m getting better at it and the feeling is exactly the way you’ve described it, both of us enjoy so much!!

  • I LOVE spending time with my kids one on one. It’s such a gift to them and to us to have that special time without distractions.

  • Children remember time spent with a loving parent far longer than anything you could possibly purchase for them. Things break and are soon forgotten. Memories last forever in the heart.

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