This week in Parenthesis, we marvel at Jim Griffioen's costume-making skills, help Jill Smokler bid farewell to her favorite pair of yoga pants and more.
"Sometimes I nerd out a bit too much"
"There were times, while sitting down at the playground working on a full, authentic Roman soldier's kit for my own son when I wondered if maybe I was taking things a bit too far," Jim Griffioen writes at Sweet Juniper. Those familiar with Griffioen's past projects won't be surprised to learn that he did indeed get carried away -- but in the best possible fashion. Thanks to his meticulous efforts, the spirit of Rome lives on in a small boy with a homemade centurion’s uniform who looks unbearably cute in photographs. And though Griffioen protests he "[doesn't] have it in [him] to be a homeschooler,” we humbly beg to differ. We'd take his history lessons any day.
Funeral for a faithful (fabric) friend
Yoga pants: Like the best of friends, they're there for us on bright days and dark days -- and they always make us feel good. But even the most stalwart cloth companions bite the dust eventually -- and for Scary Mommy blogger Jill Smokler, that unhappy moment came this week (her beloved pair was "laid to rest ... under peeled potato skins and old crumpled up band-aids in the kitchen trash"). "I’ll continue my never ending search for the perfect pair of black yoga pants, but I know it will be futile," she writes in her over-the-top obituary. "That kind of love just doesn’t happen twice in a lifetime."
Just say yes
Some parents might bristle at the idea of saying "yes" to their kids for an entire day. But Jen from People I Want To Punch In The Throat -- who's had her doubts about the concept before -- gamely decided to try it this week, designating Saturday "Yes Day" (but slyly neglecting to inform her children until the experiment was almost over). The next 12 hours had their ups and downs, but overall, her prediction -- that such an experience "would be absolute madness and I would be broke at the end of the day" –- turned out to be only half-true. While her kids' fun did cost more than she'd hoped, her family managed to navigate children's parks and roller rinks without too much trouble. Still, her conclusion is firm: “[W]e're not doing that again for a long time.”
A walk in the park
A lunchtime stroll -- through city streets, a town center or a people-free park -- can sometimes be all we need to recalibrate in the middle of a particularly stressful day. On DadCentric, blogger Jason shares the revelation that came to him as he ambled along a dirt track during a recent lunch hour. Overwhelmed by "Blogger Burnout," Jason sought the "clear head [and] clear thoughts" that come with a quiet break in the outdoors -- and found a poignant memorial to someone's father that turned his thoughts to bigger mysteries than "brands, blog conferences, Twitter followers, Klout scores, Alexa rankings," etc.: "time, and what we do with it, how we measure our worth, and how our worth is measured by others."