Thursday, August 16, 2007

School is coming...

and I don't feel ready. For the first time since Sugar started preschool at 3-years-old, I am not looking forward to the start of the school year. I am already mourning the loss of freedom, the restriction, the adherence to other people's schedules and plans and ideas.

Clearly, in my deepest heart, I am much more of a rebel than I ever thought I was. I just don't want to conform to other people's crap. And Sugar's teacher is the kind of person who lives to conform. She is a "just so" kind of person who LOVES rules and adherence to them. I have such a instinctive aversion to rules that even when I try to follow them, I usually manage to accidentally mess up.

Like being on time for school. This was a big deal at Sugar's school last year, especially near the end of the year. And while I can see why it's important for kids to get to school on time, it seems like the more they made a big deal about it, the more things seemed to pop up in the mornings to keep us from making it there.

But, it's not just the rules, I don't know what it is...Maybe I burned myself out by being PA President two years in a row - after a year of being a behind-the-scenes president with the Bull as my front man - so technically, 3 years of pa presidency.

It's funny, because during that time, I couldn't imagine why anyone would not be involved in the school. I didn't understand parents who didn't feel the need to be involved - helping the school, helping the teachers, helping the kids.

But, now, I don't want to help anyone. Well, not anyone except for my kid. I want to help her, to spend time helping her learn and grow in ways that I just can't during the school year because there's so little time with her.

Last Thursday we had a good day - or at least the beginning of it was. We were in Brooklyn at Saint Aunt's house. She's been awesome about letting us stay there a lot this summer, and about watching Sugar and Spice pretty much whenever I ask. She really wants us to move to Brooklyn, and it's infectious because my desire for it is stronger all the time...but more on that later.

I had a conference call for work, and so left the house for the sanctuary of my car (I hide out in the car a lot these days - but that's another story)the call was relatively short and afterwards, I called inside for Saint Aunt to send Sugar out so I could take her to the free tennis class around the corner.

Turns out the free tennis lessons are over for the summer, and I was going to return Sugar to Saint Aunt's while I went off the cafe at the end of the block to do some work for an hour or so. But then I thought about it. At 8 years old, Sugar is capable of sitting quietly and reading a book for an hour while I work. Why not take her with me to the cafe. It would be a treat for her and kind of nice for me to just have her by my side.

We stopped in the bookstore and chatted with the owner and her daughter for a bit and then Sugar and I went next door to the cafe. She sat reading while I did my work and suddenly it hit me. If I was homeschooling her, this would be her reading time. We could do this on a regular basis. Walk down to the cafe and read and maybe walk home the long way and talk about what we'd read. Then back at home I could take Spice out to the playground, while Sugar sat down and did some writing about what she'd just read. How pleasant and civilized and a part of our lives learning could be.

Now, I know it wouldn't always be like that. It wouldn't always fit. And there would be plenty of running around to activities to fill in the things I can't, won't, don't want to do. Plenty of rushing to make playdates with friends and all. But, also, plenty of time together instead of squeezing time in. Plenty of time to learn without pressure - but just for the fun of it.

*Sigh* it sounds so right to me. But there are so many things in the way. Including not living close to family right now. And not having the money or the resources to move. And of course there's work that gets in the way of all of it. Having to work makes everything else I want to do hard. But I can't see any way around needing to work - at least for now.

So, instead of living in Brooklyn and homeschooling. I will be living in Manhattan and struggling to get Sugar to school on time everyday, and struggling to get work done with Spice running around, and dragging Spice along while I pick Sugar up and take her to her after school things and then getting them both home and fed and washed and to bed and then staying up half the night to do the work I couldn't get to during the day, so I can get 3 or 4 hours of sleep and get up to do it all over again, and again, and again, and again, and again...

Oh, I could go off on quite a tangent. But I will just leave it here, saying again, that I am not looking forward to school starting up again.

No comments: