Lately we’ve moved away from our more traditional school scenario to embrace the busyness of the spring season. We’ve moved upstairs and typically work in the den and dining room, using our patio door as our white board. Stacks of books and piles markers are beginning to clutter up the ends of our couches, piano bench and dining room sideboard. Our class schedule has morphed into a list of daily objectives – more like a to-do list than a course outline.
I’ve had to back off of blogging to keep up with the kids and ensure that the family retains some sense of balance while we’re off to all our separate activities. Such is the way of life – ebb and flow.
Ian’s new band Hex Radio is already taking off – they have a gig next week at the high school, and they’ve been selected to open for Hairball (self-proclaimed “Bombastic Celebration of Arena Rock”) in June at the Civic Center. Not bad for a group that’s only performed together one time. I had to break down and get Ian a texting plan so he could keep up with all the rehearsal scheduling, etc. He’s also begun working with the middle school concert band on his composition “After the Storm.” He’s busy altering scores this morning.
Eva spoke at another Career Day for 6th graders and both kids have been asked to offer 25 minute presentations at Marketplace for Kids (an entrepreneurial fair coming up in May). Though Ian is forever the extrovert and ready to go, Eva has decided she’s had enough for now. She’ll skip on Marketplace and instead focus on her book release; she’s feeling the need for simplicity these days, and I get that. Sometimes you just want to play with your legos and be a kid, you know? Again – it’s all about balance and adjusting and readjusting. And adjusting again.
This week we are excited to host poet Erin Keane, who is in town to share her excellent and eccentric book of circus-based poetry, Death-Defying Acts. My husband Jamie has coordinated the event, which will include a poetry slam and a reading at the local artist co-op; the artists have created and filled their gallery with artwork based on her poems. We will even have circus-themed cupcakes. It should be a wonderful evening.
Though the kids won’t be able to attend the readings themselves this time (due to late nights or their own activity conflicts), we love bringing poets and writers into our home. Jamie, having a job that allows him to coordinate these fantastic events, has brought in many wonderful artists and thinkers over the last several years. We’ve hosted editors, musicians, composers, poets, writers, and (though Jamie didn’t coordinate this one) even a Buddhist monk who was in town to create a sand mandala over the course of several days. Each occasion is an eye opener for the kids. It’s good to be around people with passionate ideas and creative hearts. It’s good to be around people from such different backgrounds and experiences. And it’s good to see first-hand what is possible in the arts and humanities, especially since this is what our kids want to pursue.
While Erin is here, the kids will still be doing their own stuff; Ian has Science Olympiad regionals this Thursday, followed by a Hex Radio rehearsal. The poetry is a little on the mature side for Eva to attend, but we still plan on stopping by the artist co-op reading at the beginning simply to experience the feel of something so wonderful – all that art, and all those beautiful words. All that celebration of the lovely and strange.
And just because our lives weren’t full enough, we’ve decided to attempt to move into town. This has been a goal of ours for awhile; we’d like to be closer to community and better able to take advantage of the wonderful goings-on in Bismarck. Though we’ve enjoyed the grand open space, peace, and wildlife of the country, we’re ready for a change and feel that ultimately this move will both simplify and enrich our lives. Wish us luck.