We Hogabooms, after much discussion etc., are pleased to offer a full scholarship to the Life is Good Unschooling Conference here in Washington State, in May. Please read on about how you can support this – or apply for it.
One of the many mamas here, being awesome.
Listen. It is SO WEIRD to be in a public space with public kids, where the kids are free to do their thing. I’ts like free-range Hogakids but, EVERYWHERE and LOTS of them. I hardly have words. It’s like a different planet from the one I’ve been used to. Kids go where they need to go and even in a big hotel with tons of rooms, the children, even rather tiny ones, don’t get lost. Everyone is smiling and helping one another and I haven’t seen a fight. Today Ralph overheard a five, fourteen, and sixteen year old talking about whether the term “midget” was offensive (the five year old initiated the discussion because he said it was, and although he could barely pronounce the word “offensive” the conversation proceeded with civility and aplomb). People of all ages getting along doing exactly what they want to do.
I mean I’ve seen some crabby parents speak rudely – one rather terrifyingly so – and I’ve seen some kid meltdowns but, things are entirely different. Just one example. You’ve heard me complain about the #HQX YMCA and the weird pool rules? The hotel pool rules here are not regarded but it’s still a respectful, fun place. More fun than the Y, even though the Y has a larger pool. Kids are doing cannonball jumps and flips and tiny kids get in the hot tub and no one dies. Heck, our family can see the pool across the roof from our room (and our kids average swimming twice a day), and all is smiles until late into the evening.
It’s busy and the normal chaos happens. Some kids (and adults) lose track of their items, but other people find these items and leave them at the Lost & Found Table. Some kids don’t clean up after themselves and don’t have an adult with them to assist, after (Phoenix taught a class today, but she and Ralph and I made sure to clean up – still, not everyone is able or willing to do so, so volunteers do their part). Some parents/carers have small children and are clearly a bit overwhelmed at times, but this is about the most tolerant and loving place for something like that to happen. The sheer amount of NON-GLARING at children for being kids, is incredible! Babies are breastfed and worn and allowed to toddler around. People are courteous to one another, to a degree I’ve not seen in a public space. It’s really incredible.
It’s not a utopia. People are people, and some are crabby and/or are having a bad day. I know there are shennanigans and I know there’s drama. Besides the meltdowns (which are, again, a lot less than you typically see in a large crowd) there’s the same ol’ darkness that plagues the human race. Today I heard a few moms talk about how much they drank the night before; one of them said her son complained about it. (And speaking of which, yeah I’m finding a Recovery meeting daily while I’m here, kthx!)
But really, it’s incredible. My kids have been swimming and playing and swimming and eating and cleaning up and doing art and teaching classes – all day.
A note for Phee from her “Fairy Godparent”, plus a vajazzled tampon
Lunch today, Greek. All four of us had a wonderful time.
Phoenix ate a lentil soup and Nels pwned a large chicken gyro.
Good times. Now? Time for bed!
Yeah, you shouldn’t go to an Unschooling conference. Unless you want your kids to have a wonderful time. You know to the point where my two are getting ready for bed and telling me they’re worried they’ll wake up tomorrow and find this was all a dream.
Phoenix and Nels are owning it LIKE A BOSS. Minecraft, Legos, swimming, playing outside, tag, board games (including made-up rules as the game literature was all in Spanish). This is all in a few hours. I even got a (small) Recovery meeting. Good stuff!
Phoenix is part of a Fairy Godparent program, in other words she gets. She came up a bit ago sporting the Best Chocolate Bar I’ve ever tasted. We were all peeing our pants a little over it. It was a pretty sweet way to end our evening.
And now, some high-quality kid-snuggling and rinsing out the chlorine from my hair. A big day tomorrow!
Until Monday, I will be tweeting and blogging about the Life Is Good Unschooling Conference in Vancouver, WA. After all, many of you readers supported me (financially, emotionally, and spiritually) so that we could be here! You can read more tweetage at this hashtag.
People. Y’all. This conference… whoo. Lots of people. More than I’d imagined. Tons of events. Elevators full of all ages. Wee kids running around in the lobby barefoot and talking on phones. Teenagers in dreds and hoodies and little geeky t-shirts and shy smiles holding hands and getting to do what they want. Lots of smiles. Amazing positive energy.
Watching my kids swim and one mom I never met before wiggles her ass at me through the glass. Another does an excellent cannonball into the pool with her kids.
Off to an event here, but I will be writing more soon!