*Above: one of my best attempts at French braiding my daughter’s hair. Some women are SO good at it! This was when mini was around four. She’s wearing Luli and Me here — still one of my favorite brands, especially when girls are between 2-4 years of age. They have the sweetest traditional smocked florals. You can find a bunch of beautiful new arrivals from the brand here. I mean, can you even handle this?
Last weekend, I wrote about the concept of “busyness,” and it spurred so many fascinating conversations both in the comments section and on Instagram about how many activities we permit our children to undertake at a time, summer plans, and travel with young families. You can join in via the comments section here — lots of great perspectives, insights, questions. One thing I observed from these exchanges is that there aren’t any “bright line rules.” There are perspectives and general philosophies, but a lot of us are tinkering, and many of our opinions on the matter shift with time. For example, a lot of Magpies with older children said that it’s inevitable that weekends ultimately belong to activities, for multiple reasons — keeps bigger kids busy and out of trouble, are requirements for high school/college admissions, can be undertaken on their own, feed into passions/talents, etc. One Magpie also commented that activities can be a great way to socialize as a family (e.g., for parents, too!) and model socialization for younger children. I think there are also ways to enshrine family values in activities — if you prioritize fitness/an active lifestyle, it makes sense you’d want to start your children in these pursuits while young. Anyway, just to say that everything is a spectrum, and it’s OK to try things and change your mind and dial up or down.
For us personally, though I generally gravitate towards the less/fewer side of the spectrum, I know I did too little with my children last summer. They were under-enrolled. Boredom is a good thing, I think, but my grand visions of a big, muddy, barefoot, backyard summer in fact ended with Mr. Magpie and I totally burnt out and at the end of our tether. Even though we had full-time childcare, we just felt like they were crawling all over us, and it was difficult to get even one afternoon of quiet work in. I loved hearing them tumble through the house but it also tended to not bring out the best in me. This summer, I probably over-indexed on the camps, but I trust we’ll eventually find a happy middle that works. We enrolled both children in a few week-long tennis clinics, art camps, day camps, and one three-week long music program. I’m excited for them but it is going to be a packed summer, with family visiting for a week, a week-long trip to Maine, and a long weekend trip to Deep Creek Lake. (Did I over-compensate?!). We shall see. All a learning curve. I’m still becoming…
Anyhow, on a trivial note, I’ve already begun some planning for the athletic aspects of their summer undertakings. I know a lot of you liked this post on cute athletic wear for girls because some of it is really hideous. I just discovered that Southern Smocked Company has the cutest athletic wear for tennis/golf/light fitness! I bought mini this white skirt and polo as well as this white tennis dress, because the tennis court at which she’ll be playing has a strict all-white dress code (they permit some trim). I wish I could buy some of the patterned ones, though — how beyond adorable is this gingham or this Liberty floral? Run! Sizes are already selling out. I also have these all-white athletic shoes in my cart because the court also requires totally white shoes, even white soles. (The sneaks remind me of tiny APLs!)
A lot of the finds below are great, affordable buys — either on sale or from places like H&M, Amazon, etc. Happy spring/summer shopping to us!
01. LACOSTE POLO (ON SALE!) // 02. FLORAL TENNIS SKIRT // 03. WHITE ATHLETIC SNEAKERS // 04. FLORAL PAJAMAS (SIBLING MATCH WITH THIS) // 05. QUILTED JACKET // 06. SANDALS // 07. DUCK PULL-ALONG TOY // 08. STICKER BOOK // 09. JUMPER // 10. PETER PAN COLLAR LS POLO // 11. SCALLOPED POLO // 12. CANVAS LIBERTY SNEAKERS (20% OFF!) // 13. POM SHORTS // 14. HAIR CLIP SET // 15. SMOCKED FLORAL DRESS ($32!) // 16. PAJAMA SET // 17. PAINT BY STICKER BOOK // 18. INITIAL CUP // 19. GINGHAM POUCH // 20. SCALLOPED DRESS
P.P.S. I don’t want anything to change.
P.P.P.S. How children become our way of keeping time. (A good read if you need a good cry. About when my grandmother lost her daughter to cancer.)