Monday, February 1, 2010

Blog: The Unprecedented Sequel

I just have so much to say this week. That's actually true every week, but this week I have a little extra time to muse....

Last week held more than a funeral for me, but the segue from death to kindergarten choice just wasn't coming to me. And I was tired.

So now I can talk about the other topic that dominated my thoughts last week. What the hell are we doing spending all this money sending our kid to private school when we can't afford to get a haircut? The time is upon us to think about kindergarten. In fact, it seems I can't go anywhere without the subject of school being brought up. With friends, at work, at the YMCA with total strangers. Where does your kid go to school? And then as complete of a run-down of pros and cons as can happen in the span of a swim lesson/lunch break/playgroup. I feel like I've heard good and bad information about every school from every parent in the valley, and it just leaves me yearning for a simpler time - like my childhood, when you went to your neighborhood school, and that was fine.

In hearing all the advice though, it's funny to see what is important to some parents and what is not. I've heard such an array of reasons why a school was great, or why it sucked, but my criteria differs so much from so many others that it seems impossible to take anyone's advice. My first question to parents as they sing the praises of a school is "do they spend a lot of time outdoors?" The best answer I've received was this: "YES! They go outside every day. Unless it's raining. Or it's really cold. Or, you know, it's too muddy, or icy, or snowy." ? Another thing I always ask about is art and music. To which I've heard a pretty blanket response - Once a week. Music once a week, art once a week, computer once a week, p.e. once a week.

I don't know. Maybe I'm crazy, but aren't these things important to anyone anymore? I went through a moment of panic last week, wondering how we were gong to afford the education we want for our children. (Emerson presently goes to a Waldorf school where kids are outside EVERY day - no matter what - and where art and music are integrated into everything they do) What if I make the decision to keep Emerson at the school she's at, and then in a few years we can't afford it? Will there be another viable option? Am I wasting her one opportunity to get into another school before all the spots are taken?

I don't know. Sometimes you just have to trust that things will work out. And right now I just want Emerson to go to a school where she is free to be a KID, and to play, and go outdoors, and make bread, and sing and dance. She only has this one small chance to be a child. She has plenty of time to be an adult. It seems weird that we live in a world where we have to spend a small fortune for our child to be able to be a child, but that's what we're going to do until we just can't anymore.

And until then, there are lots of free ways to have fun!
Speaking of - before and after my stomach bug hit full force, we had some really good times outdoors this week. There is nothing like some COLD, fresh air to make you feel like you're alive! It's hard to believe that I used to wish winter away. Now I couldn't be happier skating around on a 9 degree (not counting wind chill) day. It sure beat the crowded afternoon we spent at public swim at the YMCA! Un-resolution number 2: go outside!

And as a side note, our house is really shaping up! Is that a living room I see?
So far from perfect, but so much better than before. And we are full force with the raw milk! We made our own bread and butter this weekend...

but I'll save the food un-resolution for next week.