‘Twas The Summer Before High School…

(Disclosure: this post has taken a few weeks to finish. Because life.)

Confession: I hate the end of the school year (and the beginning too ­čśë).

Not for the obvious reasons though. For me, it has always been a notable transition point. An indicator that we’re all growing up and time is passing.

And that soon enough our time together will end.

I recognize how much the boys have grown, marked specifically by the passing from one grade to the next. 

I try every year not to dampen their end-of-year excitement and enthusiasm with my tears. (I shed a few in private for sure.)

But this year is worse. The oldest is ending middle school and we’re moving on to high school.

High school.



How did we get here seemingly so fast? 

It seems like only yesterday he was sobbing his way through the doors of elementary school for the first time.

When he started middle school, I told him to just keep his head down and ride the waves. Because no one likes middle school. 

And he did. Whether these were the worst years of life for him is obviously still to be determined. But I can say that we have had some pretty trying moments. 

Seventh grade was especially the pits. 

But as we moved through eighth grade, things have improved.

I can kinda sorta see the light beginning to shine. He’s definitely growing up – in all the ways.

He offered to help make the cake for his little bros birthday. 

I’m sorry. What?!?

He started an evening ritual with the 10-year-old – they go outside and talk about their day. 

No screaming. No yelling. No cross words. No shoving or fighting. Just two dudes, a ball and a chat about the day.

And I now have to tilt my head ever-so-slightly up to meet his eyes.

I can see them all growing – which fills me with a combination of pride and sadness.

Because it makes the end of this ride seem so much closer. 

We recently listened to Phil Keogan’s interview with Tim Ferris – one of the best podcast episodes I’ve heard in years –  in which Phil mentions that we spend 80% of all the time we get with our kids in the first 18 years. 

Let’s pause a moment to let that settle in. 

And there’s also the 18 summers is all we get post that was floating around Facebook for a bit recently. 

SMACK! Did you feel that too? 

That was harsh reality folks – that our time as parents is far shorter than we realize or imagine. 


We’re already more than a week into this summer. I’ve dried my tears and have moved on from this (mostly) for now. 

Far too soon the beginning of school will be upon us again and we’ll start the beginning of the end.

And I’ll shed all the tears. 

But we’ll also make darn sure that we get the most out of every summer and all of what’s left of our 80%.

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

A big shout out to my husband, who dutifully went to see this with me – without complaint – even though this is so not his thing!

I so desperately wanted to love this movie.

I tried really, really hard.

To embrace Hermione as Belle.

To feel the true beauty of the Beast despite his overly CGI-d beastliness.

But in the end, it left me … ┬ámeh.

There is a fine line between remaking a movie in a new a fresh way while still holding on to what made the original so amazing and attempting to copy the original unsuccessfully. This movie does not toe that line at all.

The tipping point – Ewan McGregor’s horribly failed attempt at a French accent.

Singing in a French accent no less. Blech.

I do love that they stuck┬áto the original story but did not appreciate some of the additions – let’s not try to remove fantasy from a fairy tale. Puh-lease.

I love that they included all the songs from the original and they did a spectacular job here.

I sang. I tapped. If I were inclined, I might even have stood up and got my jam on.

The new songs were full of melancholy and angst and felt a lot like something from Les Mis.

I found myself singing the songs over and over for the next week, inspiring a great desire to watch the original again.

And again.

And again.

The story of Beauty and the Beast has a special place for me – I’ve even read the original in French.

But this movie just didn’t do it. The original is just better.

You just can’t improve upon perfection.


Leprechaun traps … Becker style

This is from last year …

Forgive the poor quality but I had to get it before the leprechauns did. They also left the front porch light on and added disco balls, comfy sofas and potato chips to the actual stuck-in-there areas.

We’re all about catch and entertain here…

The first year in 6 years that on St. Patty’s Day Eve, there are no Leprechaun traps gracing the floors of the Becker house.

No tiny footprints.

No glitter or fancy, dressed up shoe boxes.

I mourn this much more than the day that Santa disappears. There was something about the magic of the Leprechaun that was just …. innocent and special.

Not that the little ones don’t believe ┬á– they just don’t have the same fervor that the oldest did. His excitement about the Leprechauns was pure and real. He truly believed, without question, that he had a chance to catch one. Like for real.

I’ll have hope for next year, but it will never be the same.