Spring break has come and gone, and the Bomb Factory traveled to Virginia Beach and back. We saw antique planes, a very old lighthouse, Jamestown and Powhatan villages, and best of all, Busch Gardens.
Stella was proud as punch that she’s tall enough to ride anything in the park. She spent most of her day on big roller coasters, and I rode most of them with her. Will took a turn but he’s not really into rides so much. Felix rode 3 whole rides all day: a carousel, a silly teacup ride he found to be “scary,” and a water ride that he said was “terrifying.” And word to the wise? If you take little Cajun children up north and order lobster, they will loudly proclaim them to be the largest crawfish they’ve ever seen.
It was so good to get away and not think about all the stuff I’ve been thinking about for so long. For a whole week I didn’t think about broken systems and testing and homework. The effect was so dramatic that when we did come home, I spent Sunday having something of a panic attack, worrying about Stella walking straight back into a huge week-long standardized test and Felix being privately tested for gifted in under 2 weeks.
Now I’m trying to be zen. Given the fact that we’re heading back out of town soon (more on that in a bit) and the kids will be missing the last 3 days of school, there are only 12 more school days. Now, before you think me some irresponsible asshole mother, please know that the last 3 days are not only half days, but days when the kids do nothing but fuck off, watch movies, and have cupcake parties. Fun, but not at the expense of going on vacation.
We’re going to the mountains! I cannot wait. It’s been years since I’ve seen mountains and breathed that kind of air. Felix is so excited, he’s been carrying my old rock hammer from college around, polishing it. He constantly asks me questions: Which end of the hammer do you use? What are road-cuts really like? How big are mountains? I told Oui Oui we would be getting really shitty gas mileage on the way home, as that kid is going to collect every single rock he lays eyes on during the trip.
I can do 12 days. Only 12 more nights of homework battles, laying out uniforms, and packing lunches with lunchbox notes (I do take the summers off from that). Only 12 more days of checking folders for crazy last-minute projects or requests and logging into computers to compulsively check grades and AR points. Stella and I recently had a verbal skirmish, in which she was dramatically telling me how awful homework and school were. I told her she had no idea, and that she likely would not ever have a real idea until she became an adult and mother herself. Kids don’t get how their pain and angst become our own times ten. Kids get to count down 12 more days at which point they can enjoy a summer of camps and field trips and swimming.
I still don’t know the outcome for Felix. He has one more round of expensive testing looming, and potentially a second. I’m trying not to spend so much time preparing impassioned orations or drafting yet more emails for people who simply don’t care and aren’t willing to bend. Worst case scenario, we have a plan B for 2nd grade: private school. It’s not a great solution and it will be costly even when helped by our parents. But it’s a solution. I’m trying to let that be enough for right now. He still may end up in gifted for 1st grade, but at this point I don’t have much hope or faith that the system can really know my son. But I have to try.
Twelve more school days.
In the meantime, there is Game of Thrones. OMG, y’all.