Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School

It's back to school time for most of the kids in our area. However, my kids scarcely notice as they continue with their perpetual summer vacation. We do notice the neighbors can't play because they have homework, and we also notice we are suddenly getting questions and strange looks from shop clerks who have sent their kids back to school already. Most of all, we notice the places we love to go, such as EdVenture and the aquarium, aren't quite as crowded anymore.

A child starting kindergarten today will spend approximately 2,300 days confined to a classroom. Considering this child has only been alive for about 1,800 days so far, this is more than an entire lifetime for a five year old. Once that child has survived over 14,000 hours of institutionalization, he will move on to four decades of work followed by a brief retirement. He will spend the vast majority of his life, like so many other people, trying to get "there," never realizing there is no "there" to get to, and in his pursuit of this mystical goal, he will not have the chance to enjoy the journey.

I've come to the sudden realization, that we should not ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up. Instead, we should ask what he wants to be today. It is during the unscheduled time when a child is allowed to be what he wants to be today that he will discover who he truly is. During this journey of self discovery, you can rest assured the child will aquire the knowledge he needs to be who he is. With this in mind, I am off to the aid of a wise wizard, a brave knight, and a fair maiden of surpassing creative abilities.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Time to Breathe

We are finally starting to come out on the other end of an entirely over scheduled summer. I know this is my own fault. I didn't want the kids to miss out on anything. I failed to take into account the unexpected in my planning.

We started June at a full run by having our roof redone, during which time it rained inside my house due to a faulty tarp on a partially clad roof. While this project was going on, the kids attended Zoo Camp, I damaged the ligaments in my ankle when I fell down the stairs, and my 10yo had a friend visit for a week. Since the roofing crew was family, they stayed at our house during this time, also. Just as the roof was finished and the friend went home, we had a visit from some friends we haven't seen in a while. This was followed by art camp for my 7yo, which prompted me to learn to drive with my left foot. I ended June by ripping out all of the carpet in our house to uncover not-so-beautiful wood floors. We also decided to play musical bedrooms for the third time in less than a year. This time we moved the boys downstairs and decided to convert the entire upstairs into a fabulous master suite, which is far from fabulous right now.

We started July with a bang - literally. We attended an awesome fireworks show at the home of the Del Rossi family. We followed this by a visit from a friend and her four children, as well as my niece, who was attending camp at EdVenture while my 10yo was in camp at the Art Museum. At this point, we are still in the middle of switching bedrooms and refinishing floors. Immediately after our guests departed, we began to pack for our trip to Sea World. Our time in Florida turned out to be pretty great! In addition to not having to wait in line for any of the rides at Sea World, we also had the opportunity to visit the Worlds Largest McDonald's Playplace - imagine McDonald's, Chuckie Cheese, an ice cream shop, and Panera all rolled into one place. After our trip to Florida, we had a few days to recuperate before a camping trip on Lake Moultrie. After the camping trip, my 10yo decided to stay behind with his grandparents, and the rest of the family went home to begin refinishing a heart pine floor covered in mastic.

It's August now, and my 10yo is home and the floor is almost finished. Both boys have birthdays this month, and the Live and Learn conference is getting closer. At this point, I'm just looking for time to breathe and a little calm in the midst of chaos before we dive back in and move on with our crazy life. Would I trade any of the chaos of this summer? No, I enjoyed every minute of it. OK, well maybe not the parts where it rained inside my house and I injured my ankle, but the rest I'll keep.