We had the conferences this morning. Both kids are doing well, but we knew that from Power School.
Socially all is well, the girls have moved past their cliques, the boys are learning to not interrupt. Everything is as it should be. Jane needs some test taking skills, as she goes from high A’s to C’s when the work changes title from “classwork” to “test”. Clearly she has anxiety about tests.
Maybe I’ll teach her those stupid Lamaze breaths. I think we all know it doesn’t do a damn bit of good for anything other than a tooth cleaning.
Jane is in fifth grade, and like her, the school she attends is growing and changing. I’m fairly certain both kids will stay there through the eighth grade, but I’ve got to do my homework and look at all the other local schools. In our area there are openings for new students in the sixth, seventh and ninth grades. On my living room table is a stack of admissions packets for various schools in the area.
One school in particular stands out as being the next step. It’s rigorous but nurturing, reasonably affordable and has a good sports program. I mentioned it to Jane and she said, “No, I won’t even look at that school.”
“What? Why?” I asked her, I was stunned. They have a stellar reputation and I’d really like to see both my kids there.
“Those girls were awful. When we played them in Volleyball last year they were teasing us and making fun of us. I don’t want to have to be around them.” She went on and on to detail the manner in which the girls from the Volleyball team had displayed bad sportsmanship and how the coach had ignored their bad behavior.
I tried to tell my daughter that the Volleyball Team was not necessarily representative of the school as a whole. Jane stared me down with a look that I’d previously thought I owned and said, “That volleyball team is the school.”
Case closed. We’re not even touring.
December of 1975 was a Hanukkah of OP Shorts for my bother, tube socks for both of us, and bright plastic skateboards from Mr. Johnny’s toys. Mine was Green and vaguley translucent, it was pointy at both ends and impossibly narrow. My brother and I sat on them and rolled from one end of the tiny living room to the other.
My brother later stood up on his.
A few years after that California had a drought and water rationing went into effect. No one was allowed to water their lawns and swimming pools were drained. The boys of Manhattan Beach seized the opportunity and turned empty swimming pools into skating paradise. I watched the teenage boys defy gravity, destroy the coping of their parent’s pools and delight in “catching air”.
Years later, dates would consist of rollerskating down the strand while a boyfriend rode a skateboard next to me, or behind me. Skating was the culture of my childhood.
A few weeks ago I took the kids to visit Tony Hawk’s offices, while we were there I bought the kids new skateboard decks. I brought my son to my favorite surf and skate shop to get trucks, wheels and bearings for his new deck and then we found an empty parking lot to skate in.
Alexander is not a fearless child. He strapped on his helmet, grabbed his board, and promptly sat down on it. Yes, sat. Jane was not in the mood to join us, as she’s been experimenting with being a little moody lately, so I did what any reasonable woman would do. I took Jane’s board and joined my son. At first I was a little wobbly, and I had to jump off a few times to avoid disaster. Then I got the hang of it.
Within ten minutes Alexander and I were chasing each other around the parking lot, laughing like crazy and trying to lean into some turns. We crashed around a little but eventually tackled a (pretty small) ramp. Watching my son’s face turn from worry to delight took my breath away. Then skating took my breath away, literally. We shot around that parking lot for close to three hours, inventing chase games and building up speed. My legs and abs are sore, my shoes are ruined and I am still delighted.
Yesterday I took a skateboard to the grocery store.
I know, once again, I’m that weird mom.
I’ve just spent the morning with Jane’s fifth grade class. We saw an amazing presentation at The House Of Blues. If you’re in Los Angeles I highly recommend having your school contact them, they teach African American History from the 1500′s to the 1980′s with art, music and dance. It was incredibly moving, academic and fun.
Oh, it also terrified me.
Ten year old boys do not stop moving. They have shpilkes. After three hours of boys bouncing in their seats, wiggling and jiggling on the bus and generally being boys, I am absolutely exhausted.
Alexander has been an easy child, very low maintenance and able to entertain himself. The last year has brought about increased energy levels and volume too. I’m thinking in two years I will no longer go to bed at night. I will simply collapse.
I just can’t remember being this tired.
Dear Blogger Bob,
I see that y’all are very adept at Social Media. Clearly you are listeners, and so long as I have your ear I’d like to talk to you.
Flying is disgusting and you are making it worse. That I have to begin each and every trip with sliding my bare feet on your stinky dirty floors is unconscionable. Blogger Bob, I don’t even get pedicures because other people’s flaky, scaly, warty, fungus crusted feet disgust me so. Swine flu delighted me, and with the first outbreak I gleefully ceased shaking hands.
We love that you keep our skies safe, but please Blogger Bob, can we get back to keeping our shoes on?