The Last Echos of Summer: It was a really good summer of growth for the kids.
August 23, 2021
I think the reason I’m so enamored with Dawson’s Creek right now, other then the really good script writing and dialouge, is the idea of home. I’ve realized now that those stories and books that are “friends,” the ones that I read over and over again – have that theme. Where is one’s home? What is one’s relationship with place and how do you define it? For me, my environmental activism like many others is anchored in the idea of the places I call home and trying to literally clean those pieces of earth or the sky above it. That it is all related to the need to preserve the amazon and the water quality in the entire ocean, is why it now encompasses literally the entire world.
But it’s the end of August, and although the work of earth-saving will continue – the kids’ summer break is drawing to a close. They have another two weeks until school restarts. They are still at their fancy prep school and I’m at peace with the exorbiant tuition that we pay which is the antithesis of much of what I stand for. But I accept that it’s okay to have contradictions in one’s life. I’m Dr. Plastic Picker but we still get sushi in styrofoam once in a while. I extol the cost savings and health-benefits of making your own home-made pizza, yet I buy salt and pepper fried chicken wings for our clinic at moments of weakness.
Yes it’s the end of August and it’s been a really good summer for the kids despite the altered vacation plans and the COVID delta surge. We stayed mostly in the house, still social distancing. We did have the kids do a few outings mostly with family and to family houses where everyone who was able to , was vaccinated. Our son had his 16th birthday with two vaccinated friends at Liberty Station where they had lunch at the outside food court and masked. My sister came into town, and our family got together several times for dinner. That was probably the best part of the summer. And instead of Oregon and Montana, we instead did a short driving trip to San Francisco where we wandered around up there.
But sitting back and reflecting during this summer, I’m really proud of our kids. They both grew intellectually and emotionally quite a bit. Both took risks. Our daughter threw herself into volleyball and found something outside of academics that gives her passion and purpose. She’s made such a good group of friends through volleyball that I’m forever grateful to the Neptune Volleyball Club. We were buying used uniforms at the fancy prep school used uniform sale, and we ran into some happy friends but mostly what seemed to us unhappy acquaintances. It’s been good for her to get out of her friend bubble and get to know other people. She delved into her love of ceramics, and it’s something that she is exploring now. She’s going to join the ceramics club and also taking another course as an elective. I fully support this. And our son finished Advanced Chemistry over the summer and surprisingly enjoyed it. He did very well, and will take AP Chemistry this next year. He was proud to have finished his SAT prep course that took up a lot of the summer. And the summer writing course that he was resistent to doing, he actually really enjoyed.
Mr. Plastic Picker and I are so proud of our kids. For us, focusing on them as intellectuals and giving them the room to take intellectual risks has been very important. And for us that has helped us as people too. I’m trying to take risks in my career and to grow professionally and intellectually. Mr. Plastic Picker is still trying to figure out his path as well. It was overall a really good to summer for the kids and our family.