I’m leaving my babies for a few days. Raymond and I are attending a conference in Portland, Oregon so my mother is coming to stay with the children. It will be good for all of us I think. Good for the kids to spend some time with my mother – and some time away from me. Good for Raymond and I to spend some time together without the kids around. Good for me to step a little further back into the Art and Academic worlds and take a (temporary) step away from my mothering obsession.
Good for all of us.
But right now I feel terribly sick to my stomach every time I think about it.
The kids set up their lemonade stand again today, this time at the Market at Trustees Garden. The weather was threatening and on the cooler side, so not the best market weather. And in fact we closed up shop early because we thought the storm was rapidly approaching. It was exhausting, but lots of fun too. The kids did a great job hawking the lemonade, and lots of friends came out to support us. We raised almost $100 for the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. Not a ton, but every penny helps!
This morning at breakfast Fletcher was telling me how much he loves giraffes. I suggested perhaps we should make a visit to the zoo to see some giraffes in person. Fletcher, however, said he thought it would be best if we visited them in Africa on the Savannah. Why didn’t I think of that?
Lola Gray’s pole beans have sprouted! She is thrilled. So thrilled that she spent a good bit of time in the garden singing “growing songs” to the little sprouts and hugging their pole teepees. The girl cracks me up.
I really hope we can keep this garden going! I have dreams of becoming an urban homesteader, growing our own food, maybe even raising a few chickens so that we can have fresh, organic eggs every morning. A colleague has backyard chickens (this seems to be a growing trend!) and right now has 18 newly hatched chicks – I want to talk to him about possibly adopting a few if Raymond can build a suitable coop. Maybe one of these days we will be able to afford solar panels so we can take ourselves “off the grid.”
Just found this great website where you can enter your blog URL, or any text you like, and they will create a spiffy little graphic of the most common words that you can use however you like! So much fun. Maybe I’ll try to do one of these a week. Will be interesting to compare them.
it isn’t bad news either I guess.
Today was the lottery drawing for kindergarten spots at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, the school that we really want Fletcher to attend next year. We had heard that they only anticipated 31 openings and had 38 sibling applicants who automatically move to the top of the list. That didn’t leave much hope for the rest of the 98 hopeful families.
But, Raymond went to the drawing this morning anyway, trying to remain hopeful. And the situation ended up being not quite as dire as we believed. There were more open spots in kindergarten than expected – 41 openings. That allowed all the siblings to be admitted, plus room for 3 more. Still not great odds – 3 in 98. Fletcher did not get one of those 3 spots (or obviously I would have started this post with hoots of joy) but he is 4th on the waiting list. That is a lot better than it could have been!
The principal told Raymond that lots of things can change. Families move away or change their minds. Who knows? Plus, he said something about having to keep 10 spots open in case new students move into the “district”, but since the district is only about 5 blocks total the odds are against anyone moving in. He also said that with the budget being what it is, class size (I think for all Chatham if not all Georgia schools) could be increased. This is not a great thing – I really think smaller classes are better for everyone – but it would definitely get Fletcher into Ellis since he is so high on the list. In either case, we won’t have confirmation until at least the day before classes start in the fall and possible not until 10 days AFTER classes have started.
So . . . . now the waiting game begins. We are going to attend kindergarten orientation at our other school option – Jacob G. Smith Traditional Academy – tomorrow morning. I hate this feeling of being in limbo. In so many ways it would be easier if we drew a really high number in the lottery and stood no chance of getting in. I want to be 100% enthusiastic about school for Fletcher’s sake, no matter if his school ends up being Ellis or Smith. But I’m afraid to be too gungho about Smith and then turn around and say “Oh! Just kidding! You are going to Ellis instead!”
Oh well. Nothing is ever simple I guess.
This week was Spring Break for Raymond, Fletcher and me. In honor of the occasion (it might be the only time 3 of the 4 of us have Spring Break the same week!) we took a camping trip to Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. It was only about an hour and a half drive, which was perfect. The park itself, was likewise perfect.
Our camp site was one of the most remote in the park, though just an easy hike from where we parked the car. We were tucked back in the coastal forest – a wonderful mix of pine trees, live oaks and palm trees – and though there were other tent campers nearby it really felt like we had the woods to ourselves. There was a playground nearby, and a wonderful beach just a short walk from the tent. It is so rare to find a beach with no buildings along the shore whatsoever – no houses, no hotels, no restaurants. Just trees, right up to the edge of the sandy beach. Amazing.
In the evening we built a big fire and cooked hot dogs and hamburgers and, of course, toasted marshmallows! The raccoons were very curious – and obviously hungry – so we ended up taking all the food back to the car for the night. Maybe a campsite a little closer to the car would have been better after all. Oh well. It was a little creepy listening to the raccoons all night long (Raymond and the kids slept great, but I seemed to be awake and listening more often than I was sleeping.) They sounded like monkeys. Or some sort of huge bird. Very high pitched and squawky.
The next day we had a lazy morning in camp, then packed up and headed to the other end of the island to meet Debbie and the kids for a picnic at the lighthouse and more fun on the beach. What a wonderful trip!
Today was Savannah’s annual Tara Feis (pronounced tera fesh), a great little festival celebrating all things Irish. It has turned chilly again, but we biked the kids down to Emmet Park for the event, with a plan to eat at B. Matthews for lunch. We LOVE B. Matthews, and we don’t get downtown (or go out to eat for that matter) nearly enough. My mouth was watering in anticipation. When we got downtown though, we discovered that neither of us had brought a wallet, so no lunch for us. Also no popcorn or candy apples or cotton candy or any of the other dozen or so yummy fair foods I would have loved to try. Probably better that we left the money at home!
It was pretty chilly, so I didn’t expect us to stay long. We watched the Irish dancers for a while – Lola Gray was fascinated by the girls and their fancy costumes, but Fletcher was bored. He, of course, was mostly interested in the bouncy houses. After bouncing we watched a puppet show and then headed for the bikes – it was well after lunchtime and all our tummies were definitely growling.
On the way we passed the main stage, and the headline act was just getting started. Cherish the Ladies is a leading group in traditional Irish music (which I love) so we stopped for just a minute to listen. Lola Gray heard the very first note and started dancing. She made her way up front right by the stage, and she danced, and danced, and danced. Mind you, the girl was wearing a green tutu over her jeans, the green Ireland t-shirt Auntie M and Uncle Tripp brought back from their honeymoon, and a wreath of shamrocks and ribbons in her hair. So it is no surprise that she drew a little attention. And she loved it! After every song she came running up to me and said “Can we listen to just one more?” And of course we did. Raymond and I could not stop laughing – that little girl has got a flair for the dramatic like no one else I know! There were dozens of people pointing their cameras at her while she danced and twirled and flitted around. What a priceless moment!