Friday, June 22

It's the end.

It's the last day of school (and i haven't been blogging because i have been putting things in boxes during my free time, and if not that then making sure all the good people who teach my children will know they are appreciated, if not that then the dishes, and if not that than the laundry. I've convinced myself that if I don't continue this pattern and instead sit down to do something else, I will fall to pieces completely. There are tiny little bits of OCD in me, and nothing I can do about it.)

Rewind to last night. Or perhaps a week ago. Eden's very best friend of just this year REALLY wanted a play date, and I REALLY wanted them to have one too. Her mother and I have talked on occasion, and very early on I identified her as someone who I really like talking to outside of school. We had dinner at their house last night.

She has four children, and her husband is getting his Phd. Her daughter is in Eden's class and her son is in Eamon's. The other two are boys and both younger. They moved here from Hungary four years ago(with only 4 suitcases!) in order for her husband to go to school. They lived in a suburb nearby for three years (a suburb which many people here are moving to to "get out of the City"). They decided this suburb school wasn't what they wanted for their kids, and moved last October.

We have really connected over discussions about relocating. She told me how she recognizes things in me that she herself did when she moved. She reminded me about how the first month(or more) of any change is the hardest, and never represents what will ultimately be. She told me that her daughter would draw herself in boxes when they first moved because she could not talk to anyone, she didn't know english. This would cause my friend to weep every night about what she thought she had done to her children (this daughter is now reading 4th and 5th grade chapter books in the second grade!). We talked about why she moved from the Suburbs, and i was stunned to find out that she sometimes would park the car far far away from where she would pick up the kids because she was embarrassed by it (she is strong, and in no way self conscious about the woman she is). These are the things that caused them to think about moving, the pressure of the Suburban Dream.

Because it's the end of school, and we are leaving something comfortable, I begin to worry. I will have to weave my way through the PTA madness once again. I will have to know families of children that my kids hang out with, i will have to learn about the school and the teachers without having a friend who's child has already gone through it. I am sick to my stomach because what if it's just not me? What if i find myself amongst many incredibly well groomed children and well groomed parents who "know people". What if my kids don't find any friends right away? What if i find myself in the same situation as my friend, and think "oh god, this is not for me"?

After dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was dusk and it had just rained, there was stream coming up from the road and we spotted fireflies all over the place. While the kids caught fireflies and made them crawl around on their shirts, we talked about how she rode a greyhound around the United States after working in NY for a summer, the National Park that Eden is named after, how her husband loved her because she would always eat more than him and her dream that he find a university job in Brussels or Portugal. I made a wish on a firefly that, even though there are people I love in LA, I find one mom at the kids school that I like talking to at pickup time.

1 comment:

Nell said...

This is making me sad. I don't really want to think about you leaving because even though I am not technically moving to a new place in the way that you are, I will also be negotiating the whole public school thing and not knowing anyone at pick-up time. Promise me that we can talk twice a day (once after pick-up time (EST) and once after pick-up time (PST)) and we'll both be fine. I selfishly want you to stick around for me (because even though this is your blog, you know, it's really all about me, all the time) because you are my only friend who has kids in school already. Why do I know so many people with babies? You are the only person I know who has even attempted, let alone successfully negotiated, the PTA thing.

And even if it's midnight your time you can call and I promise to murmur things into the phone that sound supportive and encouraging (even though I won't really be awake).