Life Lately | June 2023

Life Lately June 2023 //

Friends, a strange thing has happened to me recently. Duke has altered his parental preference and my feelings are 50/50 on this life event. 

I have heard that this could happen, but I'd also heard that some kids sleep all night or sometimes play independently, and since those both turned out to be a whopper of a lie in my experience, I wasn't expecting Duke to ever switch from his "obsessed with mom" phase. But alas, he did. 

Last night, after work, I called Ryan and asked if I should pick up Duke. They were at a drag strip, racing old cars and without hesitation, Duke said no thanks. So I went home and wandered around aimlessly for a few hours, like wondering what to even do. By the time they pulled in the driveway, I was sitting on the front porch with the dogs, just waiting for them. 

Then I picked things up where I'd left them, assuming Duke would be joining me on Saturday for a beach day, probably (definitely) punctuated by some garage sales and stopping somewhere for lunch or ice cream. Again, he said "no thanks" and added "I want to hang out with Dad." 

Guys, I am shaken. I am delighted for them and I am delighted for myself - a whole day?! To myself?! I have been simultaneously looking forward to this day, and ruing it because I can take a few hours alone, but back-to-back days? I'm not sure I'm ready for this. Don't you dare turn the page on this chapter of our lives, Duke Hodges. I'm not ready to grocery shop alone, or go to the beach alone, or wander through the library alone, etc etc. 

Parenting is such a weird tug-of-war. I've been dreaming about moments to myself for nearly 7 years and Duke has truly been such a mama's boy, they've been few and far between. But give me what I want and suddenly I don't want it so much anymore. I have such a hard time with anything changing or evolving. 

One thing I've learned is that everything is a phase. Everything! I've had the last 6.5 years and I know it'll continue to flex back and forth. I will say, cheerfully, that last night when Duke woke up at 2am and couldn't fall back to sleep, it was my side of the bed he came to. I followed him to his room and curled up next to him until we were both sleeping again. See? I remind myself, the chapter isn't closed after all


Life Lately June 2023 //

Duke finished school this month. He has about a week and a half off before he's off to summer day camp, which we're all very excited about. He spent a few days going to work with Ryan, and then two days at home with me, where he was treated to ample unsupervised time and screen time that amounted to three movies, back to back. He loved it. I, on the other hand, spent Thursday evening scrubbing something blue out of my carpet that was spilled during the aforementioned unsupervised playtime. 

I've been keeping a list of all the things I'd like to do this summer, which inevitably I'll forget about until September when I'll frantically try to fit in all of them in roughly one week's time. So stay tuned! In the meantime, my job is giving me gray hair and fresh new wrinkles to try to iron out with retinol and therapy. It's been a wild summer so far, and I'm just hopeful that July will offer some of those "lazy summer days" I'm always hearing about. 

Duke asked me a couple days ago if I get a summer break too. I laughed at his surprise when I said no. "But when do you get a break?!" he asked, eyes all wide with concern. "Never buddy," I said. Listen, life has harsh lessons and this is one of them. I had to tell him the truth. 

Other nice things we enjoyed this month -

Life Lately June 2023 //

Lunch date with Ryan and Duke to a new-to-us burger spot in Traverse City. This was after a lovely estate sale in which Ryan perused the garage and I wandered around the house. I love estate sales for the homes - I just like to see how other people live and these folks lived very mid-century-ish with frontage on Lake Michigan. I was very into it. 

Life Lately June 2023 //

We went to a car show, naturally, for Father's Day with Ryan and his brother's family. My niece Hayden recently had a little girl and Duke is very interested in her. He's wanted a sibling for so long and this is the next best thing. I love to see how much he loves her (or at least thinks she's very cute.) He does not, however, enjoy when she cries. He asked Hayden very seriously if she could make the baby be quiet and I lol'd forever. 

Life Lately June 2023 //

We bought a rental property with a friend and here we are enjoying our West Bay frontage for the first time. Very excited to get to enjoy this spot between renters. 

Life Lately June 2023 //

I love this picture so much. Duke and I went on a hike with Ryan's sister a few weekends ago and we had a blast prancing down the dunes. Prancing right back up them though - that took some coercion. 

Life Lately June 2023 //

Reading on the deck as usual. I've invested in more patio furniture and formally moved my lodgings outdoors for the foreseeable future. 

Life Lately June 2023 //

The other side of the deck, currently called the deck garden. I think I may get another patio table for that space, but we'll see. 

Life Lately June 2023 //

Banana pudding, modeled after the viral Magnolia recipe. Turned out nice! 

Life Lately June 2023 //

Spending all of our free time at the beach, of course. I'm not particularly generous with my secret beach locations, so I'm not telling where, but it's definitely one of my favorite spots. I will give this one away: Arcadia beach is a close second favorite, plus it has really nice bathrooms which practically punts it straight into first. 

Happy July, friends! Wishing us all pitchers of cocktails, more Saturdays than Mondays, and plenty of beverages, bonfires, and beaches. 

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