If you haven’t yet heard about the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man in Fullerton, Ca, here is a link to the story and how it has brought out protestors of all stripes. I have been down at the police station almost every Saturday since the protests started, sometimes only for a couple of hours depending on the kids’ needs.
This is my youngest, Sophia, holding up a sign she helped to make. We have friends on the police force and are NOT anti-police, but I want to do everything I can to make sure that the mayor and police chief here in Fullerton know that their citizens won’t just accept this lying down. I am also trying to teach my kids that you need to speak up and try to make a change when you see something wrong.
Next weekend, there is going to be a memorial concert combined with a food and clothing drive for the homeless. The whole family will be going to show our support.
And so it starts…the eager kids lined up in front of the classroom, the wistful (or relieved) parents greeting old friends and new teachers. Since her last name starts with “A”, Sophia got the first seat in the classroom, right up front. I think it’s going to be a great year for her.
My oldest started high school this morning. Nick took her to Starbucks and school today. She is loving it already. She started the frosh-soph basketball team the first day of summer, so she already has a lot of new friends as well as a few from junior high. She chose to go to the most challenging local school, instead of the one most of her friends are attending. Seventy Five percent of the students go on to four year universities (99% go to some college), and graduates from 2009 and 2010 went on to Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Harvey Mudd, MIT, Amherst, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech–you get the idea. In a recent year, they had more graduates attend USC than any other public high school (or private, for that matter), something like 39 kids. Not bad for the local high school Nick and I went to years ago. Isabella is extremely bright, but tends to do what her friends are into, so we are hoping that having studious, academically competitive friends will inspire her.
June takes me by unwilling hands
To spin me in her dervish arms;
The whirlwind of her fleeting days
Obscuring gray and obvious charms.
The sun, the sun, is briefly glimpsed
His summer promises opaque.
But June twirls on at reckless pace
Impetuous wind that will not break.
Here is a quick poem I jotted down to try to capture the feeling of the past month. And some photos from the last two weeks. It has been fun, and stressful and enormously busy. Why do they put Father’s Day at the end of a week when the kids finish school and we have teachers’ gifts and graduations and dances to worry about as well? So not fair to the dads!
Pancake Breakfast for 300+ (Phew! Glad that’s over!)
Guitar recital at a Local Punk Rock Cafe/Bar
Gold Rush Days at the Elementary School
My sister’s birthday party
On a happier note than my last post, I am delighted to report that my youngest has been to the cardiologist and received a clean bill of health. Woo hoo!!!!! According to Terry Pratchett, using 5 exclamation marks is “a sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head” (thanks to my friend at Another Tricky Day for that morsel of punctuational parsing). So she is free to go back to her six hours of dance class a week and do as many celebratory cartwheels as she likes. I only wish I could do one, but none of you would enjoy watching that debacle. Hmmm, perhaps it would have some entertainment value at that, but my dignity is still worth something to me, despite my metaphorical choice of headwear today. I will have to confine myself to doing the happy dance. And saying woo hoo!!!!! A lot.
After an unusually rainy season, I am enjoying the signs of Spring all around me. Every morning, I see my hedge exploding with pink flowers, the busy bees bustling from one to the next, legs fat with pollen. My walks are fragrant with the scents of jasmine, wild sage and even plumeria, thanks to the wonderful gardens in my town. And the trails are bursting with oxalis, what my kids call sourgrass, a favorite treat when they were little. This bee was helping himself, so I couldn’t help but catch him in the act. But the thick stalks are crunchy and wet and sour, like a pop of lemon juice in your mouth. Hurray for Spring!!