Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Summer, parting is such sweet sorrow
"School" has started. Our relaxed version of schooling that includes freedom, structure, cultivating individual interests and curiosity, self-pacing, exploration, and exposure to ideas and subjects is under-way as the seasons shift. Not that it ever stopped, we just explored other subjects with a different level of freedom and self-guidance. We are once again participating in 2 different local university style classical education programs for homeschoolers. The classes the girls are taking this year are once again exciting and of their own choosing. Earth Baby is taking Greek 3, Latin 2, Jr. High Spanish, Writing and Literature 7/8 (it's actually high school level, and she loves it!), high school drama, advanced drawing, and another art class. The Storyteller is enjoying a writing class, Spanish, drama, zoology- swimming creatures, art, Latin 1, and Ancient Roman and Greek architecture. Lolie is taking a math games class and she wanted to take a reading class I think mostly to have fun discovering new books. She is also taking drama and Spanish as well as an etiquette lunch to learn how to eat a meal with polite manners. Good thing I guess, she won't get that here! All of them love the 2 days a week managing their own schedules and visiting with friends. Squiggle Bug and I love our time together to do things like make playdough, scones, dance to whatever music we want, build elaborate castles of blocks or whatever strikes our fancy, play with baby dolls, go for long walks and swinging. We like to pretend it is fall and made up a song this week about the leaves crunching under our shoes as we walked and the vibrant colors of the season. We can dream, right?
My sewing machine is whirring, the knitting needles are clicking, books and patterns being marked for ideas, yarn being fingered, etsy and craigslist being perused for more ideas and maybe a few deals, dress-up themes being discussed for October 31st, whispered conversations abruptly halted when another family member walks into the room, secret measuring and knowing giggles with side-ways glances echo off the walls of our home. But the ultimate tell-tale sign of the seasons shifting has been the Christmas music books making their way to the piano as we select what we want to work on this year. I am constantly humming the favorites I want to arrange for us to sing this year and will set about determining keys and parts soon so we have ample time to learn them comfortably.
I refuse to think about the fact that if we are turning our attention forward to Halloween and then Christmas it means that Smunchie is closing in on her first birthday as well. Nope, impossible, she's still a newborn, right?
Though the weather has cooled off a touch with a hurricane that made landfall only 150 miles away, we don't actually expect real change to the weather until well into November at the earliest. A fact we take into consideration when planning our Halloween costumes. Still, it feels as though we have begun to bid summer adieu and from this point out and shorts and t-shirt days will be mere stragglers of an Indian Summer. We pretend that you can't actually wear shorts and t-shirts all year here. I sit here and right this in a tank top and summer skirt. Same outfit I'll probably be wearing at some point in December.
For years we have been listening to the 3 big girls beg to visit a waterpark but the hot temperatures, fair skin, and high cost made us balk at the idea. Thanks to some friends passing along some free-tickets, we were able to have one last horrah this summer by enjoying a day along a chlorinated lazy river, 3-story swirling tube slides, jumping fountains, fabricated showers, artificial wave pool, water obstacle courses and more. The weather had cooled off nicely with only a high around 91 degrees and even for our not-so-summer-fun-loving selves we had a good time. Sunburns were avoided, dehydration kept at bay and we enjoyed our buddy system for the day. Smunchie still hates water so she was less than thrilled but was mostly content to ride along in the lazy river as long as she wasn't getting wet and was able to breastfeed at the same time. It worked. As long as I didn't think about the SouthPark episode with Pi Pi's New York Splash Waterpark too much. *shudder*
I wasn't able to get too many photos, I was far too busy enjoying the waterpark experience but snapped a few of Smunchie staying dry on the beach.