Tuesday, May 31, 2011

and so it goes...

because there's always time for silly

summerish days are upon us....although i think we're all a little leery to relax into it, seeing as how we've had a few false starts this spring...

it's like The School Thing never happened...but of course it did...and we're grateful, because it's made us all - especially Savannah -- see the joy in our days with fresh eyes.

a bit of gardening was done this past weekend....and to my {possibly ridiculous level of} JOY -- our worm compost is finally ready!!  *squeeeeeeee*

thank you worms....:)

we are pleased....

i realize this is one of the few places i could post pictures of compost and know there are several people grinning as widely as i was when i opened up the lid of our bin.

our adventures in vermiculture started way back here -- and then after the loss of our worms over the winter, and our decision last year to not replace them but experiment in break-all-the-rules composting...we are now reaping the benefits. patience, as they say, is a virtue.

{is it strange that feeding our plants this yummy mixture gave me that same satisfying feeling as when i see my kids tucking into a good meal?}

ahem, moving on.

added to our list of JOY this past week has been a dose of parcel JOY from the beautiful Rose.  having heard that Savannah wanted to learn Spanish, she sent along a few things she just happened to have lying around...;)

oh, how we *HEART* those picture-puzzle-find-it books!!! {and i LURVE tea}

missing from the pile is the spanish vocabulary sticker book that Savannah was reading at the time of the picture -- we amused ourselves greatly with our poor pronunciation for a good hour last evening and that led to a sojourn down memory lane for B and I and plans to research the provided links for correct pronunciation. i just love this organic process of Learning Stuff.

i'm in my own personal heaven with the packet of tea {sipping some chamomile/vanilla as i type} and the arty bits that never fail to delight.  the giant puzzle book and the snap game are going into our backpacks for our camping trip at the end of June. hopefully, the mancala game i ordered will have escaped the perils of the impending postal strike and will go with us as well. {fingers crossed}

in other news, we rescued a baby chipmunk from The Bloody Cat....long tale of high drama and late evening scramble for chippy-rescue supplies and a trip to the Cat Hospital {i KNOW, the irony, right?} where Napoleon* is, i'm relieved to say, convalescing satisfactorily.  {fingers crossed}

so yes, it's all good.

*so named because he is rather small, but evidently quite mighty. ;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

and so we are free....

greenin' up nicely....

after many more discussions...many more tears (mine and hers)..and a conversation with Angels (excellent advice..thank you Sarah and Jacqui).....we found the source of this sudden interest in school.

{kelly- reading your comment made me smile}

turns out...after having seen all the kids coming  home from school looking so buoyant and joy-filled, she figured she was missing out on a good time.  i gently explained that perhaps they were happy because school was finished for the day....

i let her sit with that awhile.

and then she asked what Sebastian and i  would do when she was at school all day -- i answered, "oh, you know - our usual stuff...." and listed all the things we do, the visits we make, our little adventures....

as she started to cry, i asked her to think of the ways in which she is free...

and she remembered that she's: 

...free to lie in bed and read a whole Junie B.Jones book before getting up in the morning; free to spend two hours on YouTube researching how to play Sims: Medieval; free to check her email umpteen times a day to see if L has sent her a note from Pakistan; free to eat, sleep, play, talk, run, jump, skip, paint, build....whenever and howsoever she chooses.

i didn't sugar coat it....i told her the truth; of how there are some fun things that happen in school, but that fun isn't the point of the exercise. and that the fun stuff that occasionally happens at school, is the stuff we do every day. she hadn't realized that.

{i now have a venomous dislike for the various and assorted ways that 'school' is portrayed on television and in young children's books -- it had been my suspicion that her desire was stemming from a misguided notion of what school is like....seems i was right...grrrrrr}


so once our tears were dried, we discussed how she'd like some more "out and about"  {it was a long winter and a very rainy spring} and books she'd like to read and how she's going to save her money to buy the new Sims game now that she has an idea of how to play it {she counted up last night and discovered there was enough -- and so it was ordered}....i showed her Stephanie's blog and how they play a lot of games and maybe she'd like to try that too -- {"oh YES! that looks cool"}


so now i find myself with new appreciation for this life we lead. i'd taken so  much for granted, i suppose -- and to find it all hanging perilously on the verge of upheaval was eye-opening to say the least.

but i'm grateful for the challenge this has been -- emotionally exhausting though it was. it has served to remind me how deeply i value this sweet  freedom we have; and it made me see what a strong and self-possessed child this beautiful girl is growing to be -- and how fiercely i will protect her right to continue on that way -- even when that means the agony of simply trusting her to make good {albeit well-informed} choices.

but it also showed me the scarier side of this right of autonomy -- that they are going to choose to do things we'd much rather they didn't....and i was risking everything i'd ever preached by wanting to take the decision away from her. but how could i not? ugh - it was a wretched conundrum indeed. it wasn't like she was wanting to do a tight-rope walk across Niagara Falls. although i could easily argue an equivalent danger...;)

 in the end though, i realize that this mastering of  the fine art of letting go will be the hardest lesson i'll ever get out of this parenting gig....

so thank you, one-billion-fold, dear friends -- i drew on the love and support you all sent and kept that and your wisdom in my heart as we navigated this part of our journey. i am ever grateful to you all for witnessing this unpleasant bump in our road....

blessings and love to you all....xo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


thank you, thank you, thank you -- your thoughts and words are a gift to me...

i've been in deep contemplation this last couple of days and i keep going back to my first instinct -- which was to say "no". but i need to know it isn't coming entirely from fear....or a need for control.


i'm reading John Holt {again} -- {i should read him every day} -- and it's helping me recognize the magic that has already happened....i'm unwilling to disrupt the spell.

my biggest fear, though - and Stephanie, you named it -- is that she will lose herSelf.  in my heart i don't think she's strong enough....she's a sensitive soul-- deeply, deeply so -- and let's face it, school is a shark tank. it took her years to overcome what five months of kindergarten did to her. {you're right, Sam - she's 8}

but how to communicate that to her without making her feel a lack -- that i believe there's something wrong with her? i'm painfully aware of how the early messages we hear can inform a lifetime...{an argument against school right there - lol} i also don't want her to think i underestimate her...which perhaps i am.

i still believe that this is coming from a different need -- although i've asked thirty ways to next Tuesday and she insists she wants for nothing. i'll keep digging though....

don't mind me...i'm just thinking out loud...;)

Monday, May 16, 2011


you know, i keep thinking i'm going to stop posting here -- feeling as if i've not a whole lot to share of our days...rambling and feral as they have increasingly become and certainly without a litany of things-we've-done that would be of interest.

but then i stop in for a quick visit and find myself smiling at what i find....and so i come back, especially now - as it represents a place of comfort.

because things are going to change, it seems, as Savannah has expressed a serious interest in going to school.


i know, right?

i'll be honest....i cried. i sat and grieved for a good hour before i could pull myself together enough to join the conversation.

the Green Man waits...

my first, panicked, thought was to say absolutely NO - we don't believe in school. {well, at least i don't - B  can appreciate the philosophy on both sides of the argument} and other parents refuse their children access to things they don't believe in, right? television, candy, religious beliefs...the list goes from the trivial to the deeply personal...

but what kind of life-learning proponent would that make me?

new leaves sprouting...finally

if this is how my child chooses to explore her learning, then i have to respect that and support her and provide her with that outlet. denying her based on my {admittedly biased} beliefs is fundamentally opposed to the whole concept of educational autonomy.

nevertheless, i'm freakin' terrified.

we've had conversations since, about the 'good' and the 'not-so-good'; we've explained how we are not (and never will be) concerned with tests and grades and the other measuring sticks that schools require to monitor the masses -- but we've also made clear that if she chooses this road, then those things will be applied to her. i don't want to demonize school {i don't believe that's fair} but i want her going in there with her eyes wide open.

view from the picnic blanket...art-in-the-park

it's not a done-deal yet - we need to make an appointment with the Principal of the local school -- and i've no idea how they'll take us me. if i sense they aren't receptive to our philosophy - and yes, i realize they aren't required to be - then i may still veto the whole thing. she has come too, too far.....

i'm wracking my brain, trying to find alternatives...wondering if she needs more structure {although she claims not to}. my first instinct was to think i've failed her in some way...that i've not fulfilled her needs sufficiently. so i'm not laying down my sword, just yet...;)

any and all thoughts/suggestion/nuggets of wisdom are welcome....