Monday was our first day of homeschool pre-school, and we took a field trip. Not being tied to a desk in a classroom and movements on the sound of an electric bell, is the first plus I have seen from our short experience. I can already see how much more can be learned by doing and going than by trying to focus on a teacher in a room full of distractions. We went to Lexington because John had to drop off some artwork for a showing at ArtsPlace . I wanted to tag along with the girls and make it a day in the city that we could enjoy as a family.
Our theme for the week is cats, and Deladis is pumped about it. She was focused on noticing and absorbing everything around her. It was great to watch. At ArtsPlace, we walked through the gallery looking at the various pieces. Eventually, we found ourselves in an open oblong room that reminded me of a ballroom. Deladis entered it first and exclaimed, “Oh, my!” I stepped in and looked in the direction of her eyes, and above us was an open ceiling that was covered in a thin, white gauze pulled upward and gathered in the center like a huge canopy. It was beautiful. The way the natural light shone through it made it appear as a textured mist. She circled the room with her eyes to the ceiling the whole time. They were also getting ready to hand out the horses for a new horse mania, where various artists paint life sized horse statues to be placed around the city. Deladis and Ivy both adored looking at those horses.
Next, we ate and went to Michael’s craft store to buy some remaining school supplies. It satisfied me so much to be there with Deladis. Everything we bought, you would have thought was a gift wrapped in shiny paper. Deladis was so excited and she is anxious to use what we bought. Most of what we needed was tempera paint, modeling clay, and felt. I had went to Wal-Mart in the neighboring county to where we reside to get the first batch of stuff. I was grounded by the difference in price. Michael’s was much cheaper.
After Michael’s, we went to a pet store to look for kittens. We saw every small animal you could imagine, but there were no cats and dogs – an abundance of guinea pigs free with the purchase of a cage and food, but no cats. Deladis and Ivy ran from cage to catch gently looking in and waving to the animals. Ivy hasn’t seen many things like that, and she hasn’t even been to the zoo at an age where she could thoroughly enjoy it, so she was having a blast.
Now, if there is anything to be missed by not living in the city, it is a network of mothers, a good bookstore, and a natural/health food grocery. If I didn’t have a thousand things on my list of what to be when I grow up, I would be the one to bring all of these things to my hometown in the mountains. We need these things here. Our next stop was Joseph-Beth Booksellers where John and I both looked and mourned our inability to buy. I did buy a Dover Press coloring book of cats. Dover Press does the best affordable printings of classic literature and coloring books. The illustrations are realistic and beautiful. It’s not your typical mindless coloring page.
Then, we moved on to Whole Foods Market. I was shocked at the price differences being so much cheaper there than the prices for things at Food City (your typical mainstream grocery with limited organics), where I have to shop now. I was almost moved to tears. I know, crying in the grocery store is a silly thing, but sometimes we forget our limitations and are reminded of them when we are faced with what could be. Out of sight, out of mind. I stocked up on so many things I can’t find around here. I understood, despite my best efforts how compromised our diet is compared to the one I’d like for us to be eating.
The long trip home was a quiet one. We got in, I put the sourdough in the oven, and started on the chalk drawing for the next day’s circle time. It was cathartic, doing something I’ve always enjoyed doing, but never made the time for as it falls outside of my usual priorities – drawing. I went into sleep excited for the first time in awhile about my day ahead at home with my children.
Today, we woke up, ate, did dishes (Deladis helped), and had circle time. I unveiled my chalk drawing of the sleeping kitty to “oohs” and “aahs” from both Deladis and Ivy. Ivy said the word “cat” for the first time. Before today, every four-legged creature was a “doggie”. We went to the library for books about cats, did a little shopping in search for some colored chalk, and made it home to clean the girls’ room before noon. It has been a lovely day. I know we’ll have our troubles with homeschool. They’ll come, but I can rest in knowing that for now, I love the decision we have made to start early and with Waldorf education.