This was the first week I actually felt like we were here. School and all its paperwork, carpools, packed lunches and new names has all finally settled down into a strange system that doesn’t involve too much anxiety. There’s still no rhythm to it all, but I haven’t forgotten a child somewhere in over a week so all is looking good. Most importantly, husband is walking beside me now which makes me feel normal and safe.
The week started at a political fundraiser cocktail party held at my mom’s, given by both my politically minded brothers. LA cocktail hour starts at 5, so considering that most moms I know are more than ready for a glass of Pinot by then, you don’t have to feel like an alcoholic for taking your first sip before sundown.
I was amazed, once again, how grass-roots politics truly can be, even in a country this big. You see it in developing countries, simple connections pieced together and built like a lego tower to power. But even here, politicians will still go way out of their way for the one on one connection to your money, and therefore your ideas. One vote does matter and getting involved is empowering – especially when you have the Sheriff of LA County, the Attorney General and former Governors at your home. The security was impressive!
We left from there to our first ‘Back To School Night’ where we were finally going to hear something about what our boys are to be studying. Significantly overdressed, we walked into the theater and the first thing I noticed was that there was no alcohol. In England, every single school function after hours has copious amounts of wine with the Headmistress usually tending bar. This event had Starbucks.
Sober thoughts led us to the overall feeling that we either found a system for our kids that is so radically different from their suit and tie environment of learning that they are going to soar as circles, rather than the forced boxes they never were anyway, or, (here’s where the husband’s voice takes over) we have jumped into a sea of hippy, high-fiving people where learning actually isn’t essential. I am inclined to believe that my boys will learn more if they are comfortable in their environment and encouraged with warmth. Husband still holds on to the memories of being caned and whipped and knuckled…
Having sorted sports for two out of my four, I chose to focus on one of my younger sons, making sure he felt his after school life was also getting attention. I went over various classes/sports he could take and after a list that was quite impressive, he simply said that he wanted play-dates. I had to laugh. Kids are so busy these days, we rush around making sure they are going to be the best that they can possibly be at everything, and yet what is clearly the most important thing for this particular son is having time to make some friends. Truth be told, scheduling him in to become the next Tiger Woods (without the sex) would be a lot easier than traipsing around LA for play-dates. The catchment area, unlike London, for these west-side schools is MILES wide. But play time it shall be. Who knows, maybe he’ll want a play-date at Beck’s house????
I ended the week in my usual fashion of going to the doctor and discovering a massive infection. This time it was in the bones inside my mouth and within minutes of arriving for a normal check-up, I was laid up in the surgical chair facing 2 hours of oral surgery, seven stitches and only one half of my mouth looking like I had collagen. I’ve had a few days of major meds and lots of time to reflect my undying illnesses and here’s where I’m at. I’m not dying. If this is my lot right now, these problems that are fixable, than I’m pretty lucky. Even though I cried in the doctor’s office when presented with the bill because I had to spend the budget for my dining room table on my mouth, I did feel relieved that the pain would go away and I could simply move on, end of saga.
So here’s to the next week without a doctor’s appt, without pain, and hopefully without forgetting to pick up anyone.