Saturday, March 28, 2009

earth hour = lovely blip in time

We had the lights off and a single Method lavender lemongrass candle burning while watching "Mulan" on tv. Which, yes, sort of defeats the purpose, but laying in the big bed with the kids snuggled in on either side in the semi-darkness made for a cozy, lazy, winding down moment. We don't get enough of those.

I have been thinking about memory and what we retain from our childhoods. What would my two remember? Would they specifically remember that moment of warmth and love, or perhaps an impression of that coziness? Am I doing enough to create those positive memories? I am astounded by how much Z remembers from being three and heartened that they are primarily good memories - having ice cream, going to the playground, playing in the backyard of the Chicago house, her bedroom there, making snow angels. I can't shield her or O from the necessary components of growing up, though. Eventually, they will encounter grave disappointment, heartbreak, and loss. But from their positive memories, I hope they develop a foundation of trust in me, that they know that I would not turn them away or judge when unhappiness occurs.

Today was filled with loving moments as well as impatience and anger - all in a day's work when you're alone with two highly energetic children. At the end of the day, we came back to love in the form of snuggling on the bed, O kicking me sporadically. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

school, glorious school

The dust has settled. We got our first choice public school and were waitpooled on all four of the privates to which we applied. Happy, of course, that we have a solid school in pocket, but a little sad about losing the chance for a unique educational experience for Z and O, at least in the elementary years. People have tried to be upbeat and reassuring that the waitlists could clear over the summer, but I see this one opportunity dimming. We'll try again for middle school, but it will be no less difficult, if not more so.

I was seduced by the offerings from the privates. Beautiful campuses, warmth and a sense of community, a fully-loaded curriculum, and - if I had to be honest - a chance to give my kids a leg up in the world. It was a glimpse into an entirely different experience that neither D nor I had as children. It was a gift we wanted to give Z and O, and it was frustrating that we couldn't pull it off. 

We're being philosophical; God is pointing us toward the public. To reinforce that notion, there is a preschool next to the school's campus. I'm touring it in a few weeks, and if my gut says go, I'm submitting an application for O. The ability to minimize the impact of the double drop-off/pick-up is infinitely valuable.

I'm trying to not see this as a closed door but a turn in the road. It's hard not to feel a sense of loss, though. I'm wondering if the mere fact that my older baby is starting kindergarten in a few months is the root of my emotional reaction to the process. 

In the meantime, I'm indulging in fantasies of volunteering in the school library and chaperoning field trips.