I am feeling a little distracted lately. This is what our backyard/my view from my desk looked like BEFORE it rained for 12 hours straight. We are in a holding pattern while we wait for the plumber to replace a gas line. Then, I have been told, it will move along “quickly”. We will see.
Meanwhile, I found an awesome App to help me quell my urge to plant. It is called iScape and it takes this
I recently listened to an interesting This American Life about tribes. Little did I know that it would be even more relevant today at our school PTA Board Meeting. Tribes, as defined on the show are small communities with a shared background.
Tribes become distinct in a larger community when children and/or money are at play. Native tribes from Oklahoma in years past and present experience tribal wars due to disputes over land, money, status and rights. Similarly, tribes within public school districts go to war over class size, arts and athletic programs, school achievement and who decides how resources are allocated. It seems that the dreaded time has come this year when teacher allocations come down from “downtown”. Our neighborhood school has grown exponentially in the past fifteen years and as I learned tonight is apparently a “destination” school. This translates into growing student numbers coming from transfers and families moving into our district with school as a motive.
This is when things get tricky. Well, there you have it. I would like to have something really inspirational or insightful to say, but the way I feel is that I love each and every one of the children I have come to know at school. I wish there was a better answer for all of this. I do know that my children are not a “drain on the resources.” #mamabeargotthecrazyeyes
I suppose this is modern day tribal warfare. And just when I was really starting to identify my people, my tribe.
Let me start by saying that two moms taking six kids skiing is hardly a vacation, but add three “never ever” snowboarders to the mix and there is potential for a real disaster. Why did I do it? I can explain it best with the mantra I adopted during the trip that continues to resonate in my head…. “We are a skiing family”.
I love to ski. It very well be one of my favorite things to do. The first time I skied I was in 7th grade and I went with my church youth group. I went once a year from then until I became pregnant with Big Guy. Two years ago we took our then 4 and 5 year old boys skiing. Little Guy’s ski instructor was so impressed by his willingness and balance to go straight down the bunny slope, they offered him a position on the kids ski team. Being from Oklahoma, we had to politely decline. They did ski school, we were accompanied by their grandparents, my mother-in-law did most of the cooking. It was easy. This time, the boys were 6 and 7, I did half of the cooking all of the carrying for my family and my boys could not understand why they did not turn into Shaun White as soon as the snowboards were attached to their feet.
People have children for a lot of different reasons. I jest that I had mine for travel companions. I learned early on, after years of taking youth groups on trips, that the one thing better than seeing or doing something for the first time is being with someone when they see or do something for the first time. I will never forget taking high school kids to see the mountains for the first time, having a snowball fight at Rocky Mountain National Park on the 4th of July, or spending the whole day with no agenda but to swim in the ocean. One very memorable trip was to Washington D.C. I met several of the kids, for the first time, at the airport. I had only been at the church for three days and I had not planned the trip or even been to D.C. since I was in Junior High. So, instead of panicking, I made a game of getting around. I told the kids that part of our experience was learning to navigate a big city. By the end of the week we had all mastered the city bus system, the subway and transferring flights. It was perfect and I was able to focus on getting to know the kids rather than serve as travel guide.
I loathe self-help books. I really can not stand them. However, I am a huge fan of Bruce Feiler of Where God Was Born, Abraham, Walking the Bible and Council of Dads, fame. His latest book, The Secrets of Happy Families, self-help nonetheless, was not a disappointment. Feiler has a way of writing about big topics in very accessible ways and a true gift for personally relating to his audience whether they be college professors, business executives or parents. I laughed out loud when I read a portion of the “Lessons From the Sex Mom” chapter. He tells of the woman known in her community as the go to mom if you need help talking to your children about sex. Her friend asked for help and kept coming back to her saying, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!”