Here’s the thing: ‘You are not pizza’

I’m not much of a sun worshiper, but I sure have missed it. If you’re like me when the sun comes out, you sit on the back porch in 50 degree weather for as long as your skin will handle it while the kids play outside and try not to get grossed out by bugs.

Alaskans are kind of big wimps about bugs. When I went to a church camp in Texas there was a cricket that chirped and I screamed while two locals stared at me. I was like, “Alaska is too cold, so there’s not a lot of bugs.” Then I walked away knowing my street cred just plummeted.

It’s in the same category as when you’re in 70 degree weather in Nevada and they tell you the swimming pool is closed for winter. What. Are you talking about. Am I right?! So I fully expect antsy Alaskans to go overboard with sunburns when summer starts to make an appearance.

I think every person in my life has gone somewhere warm this winter, while I’ve stayed home pretending not to cry every night. If we go to Hawaii during winter, someone might have to drag my sandy, clawing hands off of the beach. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I could use less mosquitoes and more mojitos. Especially this time of year where having a hayfield for a yard and a muddy spring time car stands out more than usual.

And of course, the end-of-school chaos that sneaks up on you. As a parent, you get phone calls, emails, and paperwork galore. Then you feel like you can’t forget any of it. My brain is so full that I’ll stand in front of the fruits and veggies at the store and feel like I really have to really commit to what I want. The kids always eat the good stuff, so I might have to hide the blackberries behind the milk and then try not to forget about it.

I’m pretty happy it’s grilling season too. I’m heavily considering switching to paper plates just to cut down on the pile of dishes. These are my simple, yet glamorous summer plans. Paper plates, hiding blackberries, and grilling. We’re almost there.

When the weather permits, the busy end-of-school festivities are fun. It’s a good a reminder that most of them can’t be done during the winter, so it’s necessary to have patience for jamming all the outdoor field trips together in May. I get to see what the kids have learned all year and there are always opportunities to help. One day I learned an important lesson in math. Both kids had two separate field trips on the same day. I took my son, then added two kids. That means three coats to zip up, three lunches to help with, and three carseats squished in the back of my mid-size SUV. I loved it. I earned my soccer mom badge.

Afterward, I dropped them off so I could join the other field trip. I missed most of it, but was happy to show up. I watched my nine year old daughter eat lunch with her friends, which isn’t extremely fun, and borderline creepy, but it was nice to be there for moral support. She likes the security blanket that I represent. I’m like a house plant. I’m improving her life by looking nice and being in a corner, yet if I tried to zip her coat or help her with lunch, she would stare at me until I slowly backed away.

Here’s the thing: These last few days of school, I’ve been trying to encourage my kids as much as possible and at the same time encourage myself. The “mom guilt” sneaks in around this time, because I want to help as much as I can, but it never seems like enough.

I came across a saying on the internet, “You can’t please everyone. You are not pizza.” I would have to agree. My priorities seem to pile up at the end of the school year. This isn’t new news for people in my wheelhouse. Balancing life doesn’t always come easy. It’s not about having pressure, stress, or about being high maintenance. It’s about taking care of what’s in front of you and doing your best to balance. So I take a daily inventory. Where do I need more time? What needs my immediate attention today? What areas do I need to put on hold?

Once I pull it together, everything is fine. Being a parent isn’t perfect. But we try, because we love our kids. No routine of homework, activities, or sunlight can compare to the truth that I’m just so excited to spend time with them this summer. Talk to me in August, though. It might be a different story.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at

More in Life

Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934

“Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” was published in 2018 by Razorbill and Dutton, imprints of Penguin Random House LLC. (Image via
Off the Shelf: The power of personal voice

“A Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” provides first-person accounts of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida

The Western Flyers. (Photo provided)
Seldovia Solstice Fest features 4 days of music, art

The Seldovia Solstice Festival starts at 11 a.m. today, June 16, with a music jam on the Seldovia Bay Ferry

Most Read