Earlier this week, a child riding an electronic scooter was hit by a car and killed in the neighborhood next to ours. We pass through the intersection where it happened every day we ride our bikes to school. While this is not the opening note I usually strike in these monthly updates, it’s been on my mind, and it felt like what I needed to write about today.
First, a reminder: statistics show that the risk of a fatality when a car collides with a pedestrian is 5% when traveling 20 miles per hour. It increases to 45% at 30 miles per hour, and 85% at 40 miles per hour. This was a sobering, but helpful, reminder to me, and I’ve committed to driving at 20 mph through neighborhoods from now on.
Second, a reminder: change is possible. I was disheartened by those in our neighborhood Facebook group responding to statistics like the one above and pleas for drivers to slow down with comments like “they’ll fall on deaf ears” or “they won’t make a difference.” Sure, not everyone is going to be moved to action by a statistic, a Facebook post, or even a tragic accident – but some people will be. People change every. single. day. Change is possible. We must believe that.
Finally, a reminder: life is full of risks. In the first few hours of this close-to-home news, I struggled to know what to do with it. Surely an event as terrible as this would require something of me – some change in our behavior, some mitigation of risk, some further action that would keep my family safer. The hard truth is, though, we already wear our helmets. We already stop at stop signs. We already look for oncoming traffic.
So yes, I can and will drive even more slowly where I know children might dart out into the road. But we’ll also continue to play outside, and go for walks, and bike to school, and slowly but steadily allow our children more and more freedom – even when it scares me.
And with that, let’s wade together into the both/and. Here’s what’s ahead in June and a few other lighter things…
Our beautiful backyard hydrangeas! They have a tough time in the heat of summer, so this is their time to shine.
On my calendar:
— My friend and I are hopping back on our bikes to ride the complete American Tobacco Trail! We finished 30 miles in April due to a rain delay. Here’s hoping the last fifteen aren’t too tough…
— June’s last day of school. She and I are currently scheming decorations for our official dinner party.
— A backyard Jess Ray concert. If you’ve never listened to her music, do yourself a favor.
What I’m loving right now:
— We are somewhat far away from having a middle schooler, but this piece by Ashlee Gadd is a heart wrecker regardless. Read at your own risk. (Her writing is just so lovely.)
— I tried out Jen’s playlist at the last Articles Club and it was so enjoyed that a few ladies asked about it – yet it also faded beautifully into the background. A perfect dinner party mix!
— You know how when you make an Amazon return at Kohl’s they give you a coupon? Well, they sucked me in on my last visit and I ended up purchasing this dress. I think the silhouette and embroidery are so lovely!
As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!
What I read in May:
— The Inheritance Games | Meh. Am I now too old for YA books? I thought this one was fine, but for me, it certainly didn’t live up to the glowing hype. The characters, writing, and plotting were all just… meh (and I found it really hard to remember which brother was which).
— Carrie Soto is Back | This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel and it was solidly enjoyable! Extra fun because I was taking tennis lessons while reading it. The descriptions of the matches suck you in, Carrie is a unique character (I rooted for her even though she’s a bit prickly), and the drama of the four Grand Slams unfolding kept me up past my bedtime. The only thing that annoyed me – and I admit this is a detail that would perhaps only annoy an English major – is that I thought the author used too few contractions, which made the dialogue feel overly-formal in a way that wasn’t consistent with the characters. Make of that what you will, ha!
— Camp Girls | DNF. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have my own camp memories from growing up to draw on, but what I read of this book just felt like a mishmash of one woman’s reminiscing – almost like an extended inside joke – without a compelling through-line to draw me in.
— Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow | Loved it and loved it and loved it. I’ve written in this post and other recent book reviews about characters that just didn’t compel me; nothing could be further from the truth with this one. Sadie, Sam, and Marx were such complete, sympathetic characters. I raced through this book, wanting to know what happened to them next (but also not wanting it to end!). There WAS a devastating turn of events about 3/4 of the way through that made me want to hurl the book against the wall, but the theme of immortality woven through was fascinating and masterfully done. And, like every other review I’ve read, it must be said that I neither know nor care a thing about video games and still found this book completely engrossing.
— Every Summer After | Meh. This book suffered from following directly after Tomorrow and Tomorrow, which I know is unfair, but it just paled in comparison. The characters seemed underdeveloped and the plot felt contrived and predictable. It was also a bit racier than I was expecting, and it definitely didn’t make me sob.
My reading list for 2023! I’m 14 / 24 so far.
Revisiting my May goals:
Edit Annie in April (It turned out so fun! Sweet Annie’s third-child energy is strong and it shows in her movie :)) (Done! This area offered an especially great excuse to get rid of things we don’t use anymore, which is always satisfying.)
Organize our master bath cabinets
Organize our loft
Send invites for the book swap (Done! I asked my friend Bethany to cohost with me and I’m very excited about the details we’ve dreamed up, including decor and prizes from this shop and this shop.)
— Settle into our summer rhythm
— Film June in June
— Paint our master bath cabinets
— Clean out June’s room (with her help!)
— Plan thoughtfully for our time in Connecticut and Maine
— Complete final prep for and enjoy the book swap
— Update our budget tracking (we’ve gotten way behind in logging expenses, so taking this on this month!)
I’d love to hear: what’s a recent (or not) book you panned but everyone else seemed to love? :)
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