Friday, July 15, 2011

Seven Links for Friday

A columnist in South Africa asks poignantly, what does it mean to be South African? What is national identity, and how can a country foster the good things that flow from it? How does a people get to a point that they can say "we have a set of shared values"? It's an interesting question, although one we frequently take for granted in the United States - even given our diverse heritage.

Would you buy Amazon's challenger to the iPad? Why or why not?

If you think you need a vacation but you don't see one on your schedule, go to Nina Camic's blog and browse through her photos from her recent trip to France and Spain. The pictures and quiet prose will lower your blood pressure by several points.

I've been enjoying looking through this food blog, D's Kitchen. I have yet to try any of the recipes, but the gazpacho is calling my name. I think it's on the menu for this weekend.

The Atlantic has a long but interesting piece on How to Land You Kids In Therapy. Since that's been my goal for years, I'm glad to have confirmation that it's working quite well, thank you. No, in all seriousness, the whole problem outlined by the article seems to come down to whether or not we let our kids fail. Well, not over-simplify things, but OF COURSE WE DO. Or we should, anyway. For a more interesting take on how that should happen, pick up a copy of The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, which has to be one of the best parenting books I've ever read. My fabdamntabulous maid of honor, Kelly, recommended it to me several years ago, and I love it. Kelly is, of course, much better known as the author of the meaning of pie than she is as my maid of honor, but she really was there for my four minute wedding, too. Honest.

Speaking of parenting, Tiff has a great post on the subject at her blog freeplaylife. In it she gives the simplest but best advice: "while our kids might have interests that we’re not interested in…that we may find silly or worthless…it’s not about what they are doing. It’s about getting involved in doing something with them, because the time we spend with our kids is what matters." In her case, she's writing about playing video games and eating ice cream with her kids - because that's what they wanted to do with mom. I think too often we take this advice when our kids are small and then discard it as they get older. Would we play Dora with our four year old for two hours because that's what she wanted to do? Probably. But would we play Halo with our 17 year old son, if that's what it took to still hang out with him? I'm not so sure a lot of parents (especially moms) would. And that's pretty much a shame.

Finally, because it's summer, I'm linking again to this invaluable article on how drowning in real life does not look like drowning in the movies. Read, read, read.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

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