Fall always feels like a new beginning for me. I'm hard-wired that way, I suppose, but it's the time when the juices usually start flowing, ideas are coming in fast, and creativity abounds. This year the transition into fall has been less than smooth, and I'm not quite feeling the flow yet. I think it's been all of the have-to's, even the fun ones like Silver Baby; we have been busy and not in the squirrelish way we usually are this time of year. This past week we've managed to get Out a few times, in our own time, and I think that once again that might be what rights the balance for us. The smell of leaf litter, the goldfinches rising from the tall grasses along the bike path to form quarter-notes along the telephone wires, the treasure hunt of mushrooms that pulls us a bit further and a bit further down the path.
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We are trying some new things this fall. Eliza is dancing in a hip-hop class and tried out the local swim team that trains on campus. She and I sat down to map out some goals for the fall; I asked her how she'd most like to spend her time. Hip-hop, sewing, reading, making and selling art topped her list. She's discovered manga tutorials on you-tube and is really enjoying exploring that distinct style.
|Selling wares at the Pawpaw Festival|
"Steampunk" came to town in the form of a day of workshops and exhibits at the public library. Patrons were invited to come in dress, and Eliza spent the whole day there, making tiny tophats, balloon-powered aircraft, and hobnobbing with costume designers and modeling Victorian-era clothing (she was the one small enough to fit!).
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We're experimenting with doing some learning with a couple of other families. The things we love about it are the small size of the group and the opportunity it gives us to try things that need some critical mass to move forward. The challenges are being patient with giving it enough time to work out the kinks. Isn't that usually the most difficult part of trying something new? I'm finding that I'm taking a daily measure of how happy the girls are. Are they feeling challenged enough? Are they excited or engaged about something in their day? Are they being kind to each other?! Day by day, figuring it out.