Thursday, October 1, 2009

Farewell September, Hello October

Farewell September

You were good to us, September, a little dry maybe, but after that drenched beginning to summer, we're not complaining. And now we're beginning October, that other wonderful month in Maine, of cool crisp nights, warm days, amber sun and crimson and topaz leaves against grey flannel skies.


October brings other gifts, as well. We recently surprised the kids with tickets for all four of us for the Kelly Clarkson concert, Sunday. We listened to her newest cd all spring and summer and though I never thought I'd be a fan, I am. I wish there was a video for my favorite, which sounds great blasting in the car with the windows down. This will be the kids' first rock concert and we have really good seats, so we're all excited.

On Saturday, Olivia begins her black and white photography class at MECA, and I know she's looking forward to that. Both the kids began their other homeschooling classes this week, which include geometry, algebra I, geography and writing and they both really liked their teacher, the other students and the course material, so that's great. Tuesday is a busy day for all of us, with all their classes on that day, followed by the last few farm csa pick-ups, a short break and then choir for all of us. Basically we're going from 830a-830pm on Tuesdays.

The kids' book club also started again, so they read The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indain. The other selection for the book club was Rules, another amazing book, one which the kids read last year. Part-Time Indian was viewed as too mature for many in our group, but I knew that our kids would be able to handle the subject matter, which they have. I always seem to be the parent who doesn't mind sexuality or other topics that are viewed as difficult, be it dystopic societies, racism or classism, being covered in books that the kids read. I don't think it's going to do our children any good to shelter them from things they are already thinking about. I feel, and Alex feels (and the kids agree) that if we all read the books, then they can ask questions, they can get some answers or at the very least, they can explore uncomfortable feelings or fears in safety with loving adults. If we shelter them indefinitely from the gritty side of life, the shocks, eventually, will hit them all at once and possibly overwhelm them, or worse, keep them ignorant about their own bodies, government, humanity, injustices and the world in general. Not that all the content questioned in books or film is always gritty or dark, it can be beautiful, too (I'm thinking of our recent viewing of Juno with the kids) and it's crucial, I think, for the kids to see how other young people think and act regarding certain issues. When kids read about or see others dealing with tough topics, they now have a foil to compare themselves with--which exercises their own morals and ethics, which then cultivates the sort of critically thinking young person I think we all desire to see our children become. If kids lack this foil, then they lack the option of ever having to exercise that moral muscle, and that's not something either Alex or I want for our kids. So yeah, I end up being the radical mom in our book club, with the 12 year old who reads at the adult level and the 10 year old who's nearly there. They are too smart and too questioning to keep them ignorant, and I won't.

In gardening news, we recently harvest six pounds of peaches off our Madison peach tree, which we've had only two years. The tree is just beautiful, with gorgeous, fragrant blossoms in the spring, gorgeous form and amazing peaches. We got our tree from Fedco.

From this:

hoping for peaches

To this:

loaded peach tree
our first peach harvest :: explored

We still have tomatoes producing, too, and we have some flowers still in bloom and now leaves are changing and beginning to fall. I love the garden this time of year; it's so full of texture and jewel tones.

Welcome, October, we're looking forward to your treasures and bounty, wherever we may find them.


  1. Great post! I think it's great to keep such an open line of communication with your kids. And good for you for preparing your kids! Those peaches look sooo good.

  2. Hello Bradstreet Family,

    I've enjoyed looking at your blog in the past, but it is so much more fun now that I can put faces to your names. It was great meeting you guys on Thursday at the playground, although we didn't really meet the kids - more like viewing them as they run by with friends.

    I loved what you wrote about not sheltering kids from what they are already thinking about, that makes so much sense to me.

    I am so envious of those peaches! Your pictures are beautiful.

    Michelle (and Mark, Silas & Levi)

  3. Thank you both for the fabulous feedback and kind comments.

    Yes, Michelle--it's been lovely getting to know you and your family a bit, so thanks for reaching out.



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