day 90

Interestingly, I was too interested in other activities to get this post up yesterday. We have gotten a tiny puff of inspiration from somewhere and I was busy doing other things than just surviving the apocalypse.

I guess this is what itemized bills might look like from “consultants” if they actually told the truth about things. But what it exciting about it is that it is self-reporting. As we hit the end of the schooling year (this week is our last week!) and are totally burned out — without question — the kids have stopped coming to me and saying “What should I do?” immediately after breakfast — when there are a number of things that they do DAILY. I have said for months that since they KNOW what my answer is going to be, have they considered just DOING the things?

Béla did all these things yesterday, and then drummed for an hour, without me knowing they were happening (I knew about the drumming. Must be my sixth sense.) I think this is a huge step, although I have talked to them about “if you’re going to work on a thing, at LEAST take twenty minutes to do it”… the fact is, even when they were in school, if they’d come home with worksheets, they WOULD finish them in five minutes sometimes. I wasn’t watching, so he did what he thought it deserved. (I really don’t care if they never write in cursive, although they both do sign their names in cursive. When I realized they could not read cursive on menus, etc., I started to push for a little more. He, clearly, will chose to do however long one page takes to do and call it having “done it.”)

There was a “protest” in our neighborhood today, in support of BLM and the renaming of a charter school, rec center and park (my kids’ park) on our block — which are all named after Christopher Columbus. While friends invited us to come hang signs and march later, that is still not as socially distant as we are still practicing — and, as often happens, I think that people do not realize that even if everyone is in support of Black lives mattering, right in front of our house, it’s not necessarily a comfortable event for Claudia, who is as far as we can tell the only Black person on the block, to attend. So we didn’t, but it looks like it was very thoughtful and peaceful.

Oh look, the school that drove my kids away from believing in schooling altogether (and thank heavens for that — I don’t think there’s a safe thing about the Philadelphia public schools at this point, physically or psychologically — especially for middle schoolers.) We are, though, preparing to be prepared for them WANTING to try high school, which is not very far off at all. Neither is sure.

My personal victory in this difficult time of getting books to read) is that I got Béla reading Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, which he says he likes but has to go back over and read certain passages to understand (so we are right where we should be). SUCCESS: the Mowgli in his brain now is the Mowgli of his imagination, not Disney’s. I loved The Jungle Book as a kid and he is reading my copy, which is very old and “nice”, clearly a “gift edition” type of book, and he likes to be getting to do that.

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