Monday, April 22, 2013

"Projects," things outside, protest posters, and an injury

All my attempts at weaving the photographed experiences of the last several days into a coherent blog post have failed me. So, I'm simply going to share them one by one:

Last week's cardboard castle figures were repurposed into illustrations for our home-made accordion book all about knights. I remember when I was teaching, activities like this would be the cornerstone of a lesson, the part where knowledge was applied, various modalities engaged, information was shared, and mastery was demonstrated (and then assessed). I am thankful for that not to be part of my life anymore. I thought it would be fun to make a book. Fox agreed. Woody jumped in to help when we were about halfway finished. It was a sweet afternoon together, and when it was done, it was done. Projects like these can be fun for kids, but when they're mandatory and comprised of an adult's requirements and judgments, they can be serious turn-offs. 

I am finding myself so busy at work that I am not able to relax into the splendors of the season. That's regrettable, and it's something I'm working on. Luckily, the boys do not share my challenge. We stretched a trip up to my work into an hour of playing sniper in the memorial garden. We were hoping to spot a member of the family of cottontails that lives somewhere on the property but they stayed well hidden.

Sunday afternoon and evenings are our last almost-always-unspoken-for periods of time to hang out as a family. This week, we played tennis together up at the park, me and the boys against Daddy Honey. We stayed for over an hour, everybody getting plenty of hits and plenty of misses and lots of running around. 

Tomorrow up at the college, the Secretary of Agriculture is coming to speak on the conflicts between rural communities and natural resources. It's timely, because a Farm Security Agency permit was recently granted to a hog CAFO within feet of the Buffalo National River, and horrific pollution with pig poop runoff is certain. So, the boys and I are going to the protest tomorrow with several friends. Ann Lamott has a funny piece in Bird by Bird about indoctrinating her son into all her good liberal causes. I had to laugh making these, thinking of what I was doing (and have done several other times when Woody was younger) as in that same vein. But, Daddy Honey will be on campus, too, and has agreed to come by and hang out with the boys if they decide they want to leave. But I explained to them why the hog farm was a terrible idea, a little bit about the practice and history of direct action, and why I wanted to go tomorrow.

The bees are nearly out of tubes their size. You know what's crazy? A few have started filling in spaces between bamboo shoots! I love how pretty they are with their iridescent black-blue-green bottoms, and how they don't care about me getting really close to their nests. The jumping spider hasn't moved on, though he/she seems mostly content to hole up there without bothering the bees.

Last week, Woody made a giant spider web throughout our house using thread. He took it down when he was done, but missed one string going from the bathroom's door knob to the edge of the dining room chair. Fox found it, running at full speed, and luckily closed his eyes before this was a really awful injury. I had a conversation with a most beloved close friend from Tallahassee yesterday afternoon, and I caught myself sharing story after story of how much of a challenge Fox is to me. Today, I am sitting with that fact, and trying to see him in a different light, a more accepting and delighted one.