new year’s eve: the snow queen, caviar, and béla’s first ride on a vespa

Today we went and saw “The Snow Queen” at the Arden Theater. All we can say about it is that it was beautiful.

We had tried to get a photo with the Snow Queen herself, but the line was so long, and in the middle of it she excused herself and glided away. The kids did get a picture with the real heroine, Gerta. And I got a brochure for camps at the Arden this summer — including a comedy camp.

We also, looking in the program, saw that Mummenschantz was coming — and we got tickets for that, because it’s close enough to my 50th birthday to have what the heck I want!

Béla had an ice skating date with his Big. I’m sure I’ll write more at another time how amazing it is that someone can come into your orbit (having been there once before — thanks, Drexel) and just seem so right for your family. We had planned to stop for a burger or something with Claudia, but it was New Year’s Eve and if you didn’t have a reservation, you couldn’t really get in anywhere! She ordered a stromboli at home, where we also dug into enough salmon roe to share with the cat:

While Béla went skating, he texted with us, letting us know where he was and what he was up to…

and he came home on a Vespa. And boy, was I Mom of the Year for letting this happen. (It was pre-planned.) That smile. I’ve got about five pictures like this but they are all just different enough that I’m keeping every single one. He was SO happy. I am SO happy to have made the decision to engage them in this program.

And, at home, we had another SNL marathon, which has been the trend as of late. Béla also tried out one of his favorite Santa gifts — a fileting knife. It’s a heck of a knife.

It’s been a nice New Year’s.

Also: NEW YEAR, NEW CURRICULA. We have felt like both math curricula we have been using, while well-designed and great for kids who love math, are like the La Brea tar pits for my kids. Not a lot of feeling of accomplishment, and very slow going. I’m also using perhaps four different grammar and writing curricula… and decided this weekend (at some expense… these things are not cheap) that I have been so happy with the Evan-Moor daily curricula we use for Spelling and Science, that I wanted to try their Six-Trait Writing curriculum and their Math curriculum.

Once these are in play, our basic subjects will be much more streamlined, and there will be no question about what “needs” to be done that day — and where to stop (or, when to double-up). This frees up the creative time for the creative projects — the reading of “Riddley Walker”, the online puppet-making class in Ireland… Korean, Latin and Classics, MasterClass.com — and also lets us know when we don’t have time for those projects yet, because core subjects aren’t completed. More personal accountability for the kids — at the right grade levels to be taking that accountability. No questions about what was “due”, with textbooks that divide things by week and day.

I really miss “school days” and am ready to get back to it — and I think the kids will be too. Hard to feel like they are really taking time off when Claudia has an adult translation of “The Odyssey” under her arm. We are seeing so much more of a path now, and more goal-setting. It’s exciting, and we really have that New Year’s feel. New decade — a decade that, not much more than halfway through, the kids will be legal adults. A blink of an eye. Which makes it so much more lovely when they lean up against me as I read out loud.

May you all have as happy and hopeful a New Year as we are.

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