Its Report Card Day

Today was report card day for my kids and they are all finished school for the summer.  It’s a pretty low key day for us.  Spending time with family and making plans for summer and their rugby season starts this evening so we will be heading there after supper.

Around here the last day of school is called Grading Day and its become a big event.  I totally get the fact that kids and parents are glad that school is over for the year but I feel like parents are going way overboard when it comes to “grading day”.  Its almost as bad as birthdays and Christmas.  Big gifts.  Big celebrations.  Don’t get me wrong.  There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the year, especially if it’s a graduation year, but spending hundreds of dollars on grading gifts every year!? When did this become the usual thing to do???

 

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Everything in bloom

I had my first spin of the season on the lawn tractor today and got an up close look at all the trees and shrubs on the property.  All of the apple trees are in full bloom and it is gorgeous!  Some are pink.  Some are white.  Some are blush.  One of them even looks like it has fluffy branches there are so many blossoms on it.  It’s amazing to me that each blossom is a potential apple.  We wouldn’t know what to do with all of them if they all turned into fruit.  The pear and plum tree are slower to come out but even those have creamy colored blossoms scattered throughout the branches and are so pretty.

We are really lucky that we have so much on the property.  When we bought the house it was winter and we couldn’t tell what things were, and it was a repo so we didn’t have any information from the previous owners either.  That first summer we were here we were amazed to find out what everything was.  Apple, pear, and plum trees, a giant hydrangia in the most gorgeous pink, a big bleeding heart, a tiger lily, several hostas, a snowball tree, a couple of lilacs, a big yellow bush that I think is forsythia, more choke cherry and birch trees than I can count, and a bunch of pine, oak, and willow trees.  We were also blessed with rose bushes and tons of blackberry canes which are taking over one part of the property.  Whoever took the time to plant  the trees and shrubs made sure there would be color around all summer.

I noticed a lot of butterflies this summer.  There was a little black one that had brilliant red on parts of its wings and you couldn’t see it until it started to flutter.  There were some that were baby blue, some were creamy beige, some were pink.

And then there were the grasses that I was mowing.  All shapes and sizes and every shade of green imaginable.  Then there was one that was a rusty red/orange that I don’t remember seeing before.  Maybe I was just in the mood to really look today.   I left one part of the grass long on purpose.  As I was going by I noticed a spot that was flattened out and I wondered if a deer had been laying there or if the kids used it as a hiding spot.  Either way, it looked like it needed to stay there so I bypassed it.

Any other day I’d be looking for my phone so I could take pictures but in the back of my mind I could hear Little Man reminding me to “just go out and have a fun day”.

 

Mens/Ladies

There’s been a lot in the media lately about washrooms and which ones should or shouldn’t be used by some people.  This evening I have an issue of my own when it comes to washrooms and it has to do with The Littles.

We were at a mall having dinner in the food court.  We were having a nice time.  We were minding our own business chatting about the day.  Nothing unusual was happening until I sent the kids to wash their hands.  “Stay together and I’ll meet you down the hall in a second.  I’m just clearing up the trays.”  was what I said to them and off they went togetherbac.  Now keep in mind that we are in another town and The Littles are 7 and 9.  Not teenagers.  Not adults.  7 and 9!

So I throw away the garbage, pick up our stuff, and head down to meet up with the kids.  Little Miss is standing outside the washroom and Little Man is not with her. What’s going on?????  “the lady said he couldn’t come in with me and there’s no family bathroom so she said he had to go by himself” says Little Miss.  I was stunned!  I almost couldn’t say anything.  Why would this stranger feel it was OK to tell my kids they could separate from each other?  Why wasn’t it OK for a 7 year old to go with his sister to a washroom?  What was he going to do in there?  HE’S 7!!!!

Part of me felt like I was overreacting but a bigger part, that mom instinct, was telling me ‘no you didn’t overreact, those are your babies and you wanted them together and safe’, and that’s the part that’s right 99% of the time.

Now I’m not one of those moms who won’t let their kids do anything because they might get hurt.  In fact, I try to teach the kids how to do all kinds of different like how to cook and use sharp knives, how to use different tools and equipment around the farm, how to build things, etc.  I let them climb trees, jump around on hay bales, and play with sticks.  But as liberal as I am with the kids, sometimes I get the feeling that I need to be just that little bit safer in a particular situation and this evening it was it.

I did confront the lady in question (who was a food court worker) when she came back down the hallway, who then went back out into the food court and discussed it with the security guard loud enough for everyone around them to hear.  I just walked away at that point and let it all percolate in my mind.  No point in escalating the situation.  I did feel a little vindicated though when I heard the security guard say  to her “don’t worry about it, it’s alright”.

I was still a bit worked up when we got home so after some snuggle time I tucked The Littles in bed and wrote a letter to mall administration.  I tried to be factual and not put too much emotion in it but I’m not sure how successful I was with that part of it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I am quite emotional when it comes to my kids.

No matter the response I get from the mall, I’ll chalk this one up to experience…and I’ll keep on listening to that mom instinct.