One of the best things about sending my kids to school was that I could run errands in peace. (I could also go back to bed with Jeff, who works from home many mornings, but that’s a whole different post – let’s call it The Effects of Homeschooling on Marital Relations.) If I want to run an errand by myself now, I have to miss some work, run them after 6 pm, or end school early and leave the boys with the au pair.
Tuesday, none of those options would work so we had a morning of errands interspersed with a little school. We dropped off friends at the airport, worked for two hours at Starbucks, and left to vote.
I was not looking forward to squeezing two loud boys into the booth with me, but it turned out to be worth it.
Ezra noticed on the way in, “Momma, where are all of the lines like when we voted for Barakobama?” (Ezra says the president’s name like it’s one word.) We then talked about why people are more likely to vote in national elections.
After complaining, “Mom, you’re squishing me, hard,” Zach blurted out, loudly enough for everyone to hear, each of the votes I cast. We then talked about why voting booths are private.
Our last errand of the morning was a trip to the Children’s Clothing Exchange in Cambridge. It’s this great place where you get credits for dropping of clothes and toys that are in good shape, and then you use those credits to get clothes and toys. It’s primarily intended to serve the needs of families without the financial means to buy new clothes, but I always see a few other middle class mothers in there as well. Any time you can develop programs that works well for both lower- and middle-class families, you’ve done a great thing in my book.
Anyhow, the boys don’t give a hoot about what I think a healthy social justice program looks like. But as they figured out how the exchange works, they both shouted nearly in unison, “This is good for the environment!”
The board game they love so much these days, Endango, awards points for wearing hand-me-downs, and they spent the next minutes telling me all of the reasons that not producing and shipping and packaging new clothes helps the endangered animals in the world, including pandas, which are part of our China Unit study. I then added that we can vote for people who pass laws to encourage things like clothing exchanges, or at least don’t get in the way of them. Connections, connections, connections – so very Mind in the Making of us.
Of course, I could have done both of these errands after school if the boys were not homeschooling. But I wouldn’t have. And that would have been a shame.