Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

A day for yourself, Mom.

March 1, 2017

Our kids don’t live with us any more. Here’s how that happened: We fed and watered them regularly and eventually they bypassed childhood, graduated from here and there, and outgrew their need for under-the-same-roof parents. It happens. It’s a good thing for them and for us. If you’ve taught your children well, believe me when I say that it’s beyond cool to witness them as young adults, living their own lives and making choices that reflect well on them and… yeah, on you, too.

If your kids currently live with you, they probably depend on you for… a zillion things every day. The tangible stuff and the emotional support and encouragement. Even as you teach them to become more self-reliant, and they slowly become just that, you still have a lot going on being a parent. And hopefully, you enjoy most of it. Not all the time, of course. Like our tweens and teens, we also have our own needs and moods. And sometimes we just don’t feel like cooperating.

When parenting isn’t so much fun, it might help to remind yourself that this phase is only a temp job. (See paragraph one.) Another helpful tip: Take a day off occasionally. Leave the kids and go do something that you love. If you can’t swing a whole day off yet, then how about a couple of hours? Still not doable? How about an hour? You deserve it. And more to the point, you need it to maintain your sanity, your connection to your dreams (Remember those?) and your sense of who you are beyond “Emma’s Mom.”

I took such a day on Sunday. Went, by myself, to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, one of San Francisco’s fine arts museums. I got in for free because my kids bought me a membership for my birthday. It’s really nice when people know you well enough to know what you love.

The current special exhibit: Monet the Early Years. It is spectacular. But I won’t bother describing what I saw and why it moved me so. Art may not be your thing. Let me just show you this painting that Monet called The Magpie. He did it because he wanted to challenge himself to paint a snow scene. How does one depict snow on a white canvas? Beats me, but I’d say he nailed it.

The Magpie (1869) Oil on Canvass by Claude Monet

The Magpie (1869) Oil on Canvass by Claude Monet

We can all benefit from challenging ourselves. Especially if we want to help our kids do the same. Create a challenge. Go ahead. Let your kids in on what you’re working towards. Let them see how you deal with obstacles, mistakes, frustration, progress, achievement. Give them an opportunity to support and encourage you, for a change.

Enjoy… in joy.

 

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: , , , — Annie @ 4:57 pm
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Day 21: Kindness and Respect Challenge (The Apple, through my eyes)

October 21, 2013

My friend, filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, has created another cultural fog-buster in Technology Sabbath. In six minutes she sounds an alarm and gently nudges us to unplug and create time for the people we love and the non-tech activities that make us whole.

Inspired, I stayed offline from Friday evening til Sunday morning. No email, Twitter, FB. No IMDB, Wiki, Yelp. And absolutely no regrets. So what did I do for 36 hours without the Internet?! I did not climb walls, turn into Super Bitch, nor eat massive amounts of chocolate. Instead…

Early Saturday morning, after bagels and blueberry smoothies, David and I romped with The Pupster through the wet grass at the beautiful park over the hill. From there, we headed south to Puppy Training Class. Then up, up and up to Mt. Tam, for a hike through redwoods high above the bay. In the evening we met up for dinner with our lovely son and daughter-in-law, and her awesome parents.

And in between? While David worked and The Pupster sacked out in the sun? I crawled through a portal of my own devising, out of the 21st century and into a timeless time. And there I stayed for who knows how long, content simply to observe and draw an apple.

I started with this:

Simply beautiful. Beautifully simple.

 

Expressed it as this:

 

Gala Time Unplugged by Annie Fox

Then, like a guiless Black Widow, I devoured my model:

Delicious sweetness

And still, this remnant of a remnant continued to draw me into itself:

 

Trapped potential

Trapped potential

And hold me there:

Power unlocked

Until what remained was:

All that's needed to start anew

All that's needed to start anew

Enjoy your week, my friends. Be kind and respectful to yourself. Take the time you need to be outside of time.

 

 

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Day 8: Art = Annoyance Relief

June 15, 2009

Thanks, Leonardo and friends!

Thanks, Leonardo and friends!

Yesterday, the end of the first week of The Annoyance Challenge, was annoyance-free. Seriously. David and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Italian Street Painting Festival in the neighboring town of  San Rafael and everything about it was cool. The weather. The crowds. The music. And, of course, thanks to the artists who sat on the asphalt for two straight days drawing…  the street was transformed into a patchwork of glorious images inspired by Italian Renaissance Masters, the Impressionists, Mother Nature, portrait photography, animated heroes,  and pure imagination.

What a show!

I’d gladly give you the exact location so you could come check it out for yourself, but the annual Street Painting Festival, a fundraiser for Youth in Arts, is a bit like Brigadoon. At 8 pm on the second day, everything is washed away. Vanished into memory. I guess that could be annoying, except that’s the brilliance of the whole deal. 48 hours of totally  focused energy on the process of creating art for public consumption. And boy did we consume… walking through the space, drinking in the vibrant colors, congratulating the artists and sharing the whole scene with people who appreciate such devotion to art.

See you next year.

Italian Street Painting Festival

And away we go

Billie Holiday, Italian Street Painting Festival

 

Italian Street Painting Festival

Italian Street Painting Festival

Italian Street Painting Festival

Fruit or a face? Italian Street Painting Festival

Italian Street Painting Festival

Italian Street Painting Festival

Children's section, Italian Street Painting Festival

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