It's coming in to sight.
Guys, we have come to a cross-roads. A time when I ‘have’ to start thinking about pre-school. I use the term ‘have’ loosely (almost eye-rolling at the idea) mostly because I can’t believe we’re here already and partially because it seems unnecessary. For many parents, it’s imperative and a more affordable option than day-care. I get that. But for me, I’ve been lucky.
Somehow, I’ve stumbled upon being able to do what I love, so that has afforded us the opportunity to do what we want, when we want and now that has to stop? It’s making me highly emotional and making me question the entire route we want to go for school. Yes, I love my sleep and so does my kid. Yes, we suck at routines. But, no that’s not why I’m pondering the whole idea. It’s the simply fact that we are actually HERE and all of the decisions are right in front of me.
But MY life, my ADULT life is not ruled by routine and I don’t want Camden to believe that that is how her life has to be, because it doesn’t.
I grew up in the woods, by the bay. My childhood was what dreams are made of. Yeah, I went to school but the only parts I remember even vaguely were the few teachers and kids that made impressions on me, the good and the bad. My 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Brunst was always so sweet and always wore turtlenecks, she felt like home…just a very motherly figure. Besides her, the only part I remember about 3rd grade was trading my Arthur book for an orange marker and then trying the whole school year to convince the gal I traded with, to trade back. I was such an indian giver. Oh, and when some kid stole my ‘american flag’ pencil I had gotten when I went to Beacon, NY for the summer. I was pretty devastated. Did I mention I collected unsharpened pencils? I still have my whole collection. See, I went to public school and I was still pretty damn weird. The rest of my school years were much the same, just going through the motions. Besides school, I came home everyday, dropped my things and jetted for the woods with a small group of friends, the four of us owned that place like it would be ours forever. We would race our bikes to the marina and get ice cream or dig trails for our dirt bikes, we'd meet at the community church and talk about our home life. There was an opening at the end of our road that looked out on the Chesapeake bay and next to that was the mud pit where we could spend hours sliding up and down, then in the winter in the thick of the woods the little creeks would freeze so we strapped on kneepads and would run as fast as we could, drop to our knees and slide across. We had rope swings throughout the place that landed us in more mud pits. God, age 6-12 was all so magical.
No, I don't want Camden re-living my life. But, I want her to have the opportunity to feel the way I did, living that way. Free. Open. In my own.
I’m rambling and probably will be for this entire thing. This is how my whole brain feels, jumbled.
For the entirety of my school career there is ONE thing that remained the same. Art. Art was my constant. I was/am horrible at math. Someone can pound math in my head all day and I just cannot comprehend. I knew I was an artist as early as age 5. I doodled, constantly. The only way I could hear or remember what any of my teachers were saying was if I doodled. Art and English went hand in hand for me. I could write my butt off. Anything that required me being creative, I excelled at. Everything else was a blur. I grew up and now I’m some kind of artist. Some days I’m a Photographer and sometimes I’m a Seamstress, but I’m always creating. Thank god my parents/grandparents/relatives always encouraged and adored my drawings. My mom showed them to everyone. Who knows what would have happened if I never had art in school or my parents didn’t think it was important, because it was. Anything your child is interested in, is important.
I guess it really scares me that schools don’t put an emphasis on Art and specifically what each individual child is interested in, but how can they? With upwards of 30 kids in a classroom, giving any one child the attention they deserve is really impossible. Teachers are gifts from god. I can't imagine trying to virtually do the work of 30 people. I think that’s where I come in, I want to nurture all that Camden is interested in. Isn’t that what is most important? My job as a parent is to mold my child into a good person all the while letting her be who she REALLY wants to be.
I’m starting to crave a simpler life just so I can focus on teaching her and letting her explore and grow naturally and unforced. I want to live by the bay and have a small house and a garden and I also want to live in a secluded forest where it’s usually cool and we can make trails and ride bikes on them and make tire swings and tree forts. Maybe I just want to go to Neverland, but really...it isn't all that far fetched. Maybe it's me listening to too much folk music that's breeding my love for solidarity, crisp air and a modest life.
Life is slowly changing...the things I want. Less things. I want that for her. I’m not saying that it is something she can’t achieve if she’s in public school but the fact that it’s wrenching my gut so much since I’ve even started having to ‘think’ about it makes me think that maybe it’s my calling. My calling to start living with less and focus on the really important things in this life. Slow down. Let my child be a little person, move, learn on her own. I think it’s what I’m going to do. Telling myself that sends a calm over me that I haven’t felt in two weeks. We’re going to explore and grow a garden and hike and name plants and build things and learn what we want. Now that we connect on an intellectual level and she’s interested in more than Barney….I’m excited to see what’s in store.
This day, we went to a 'homestead' of sorts. We had two friends tag along and we ventured out and searched for chicken eggs (which we went home and ate! Farm fresh eggs are the best, ever!) We tried to coax some goats into letting us feed them and we picked out some glass to hang on the sunset fence. It's a rule now out at Rod's homestead that you cannot leave unless you pick a piece of glass and string it to the fence. It was a good day and I want to have more like it <3