Sometimes I’m not really sure what I think about this world we’re living in. Sometimes I just want to take my kids to a farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere and finally own that granola tag a college professor gave me years ago. Sometimes I want to keep them home with me where the only fear is that I might lose my mind if they fight one more time over a certain couch cushion.
Seriously, kids. There are FIVE cushions and FOUR of you.
But if I just retreat into our own little haven, I’d miss out on all the goodness that is interacting with live, three-dimensional people and telling my friend at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, in between comparisons of kale types, about the latest book I read.
I’m supposed to be reading the Divergent series with my oldest, but we’ve both lost it on Allegiant and I’ve told her to stop because a) it’s just not that easy to follow and b) it’s definitely not appropriate for her. Line crossed. Instead I finished my book club read. We’re on a Liane Moriarty kick. So much so that we just had to make a rule that we wouldn’t read anymore of her books this year.
Big Little Lies was just perfect for this time of year and for this public school mama/former teacher who has had it up to here (picture hand over my head) with all the drama. We’ve never had a parent die at a school fundraiser (spoiler alert!) but if you want a good laugh at the caricatures of typical parents these days, read this book. It’s got a heavy, serious side as well and things are not always what they seem — for anyone.
I love, too, that it’s set in Australia and the glimpse into a different type of school system is fascinating. But you could pick it up and set in America, no problem. Just sprinkle in some labels determined by a test that ultimately means nothing.
Seriously. The kids and teachers did everything they were asked. My kids got a special snack and a cute saying everyday (“We’re CHEERing you on!” with the bag of Cheerios). We fed our teachers muffins, and said prayers for their sanity, and whispered among ourselves about whether or not we should organize an opt out movement that demonstrates disdain for this test yet shows support for our teachers.
And the state of Georgia can’t get it together so that the results are actually valid. Which just goes to prove our students and teachers are so much more than a test score. They’re volcano builders and story writers and stage actors and creative mathematicians. They’re kids who grow up to form their own opinions about the world and all it has to offer.
Of course, in America, what we have to offer now is Donald Trump.
I usually keep my political views to myself, especially since I don’t land solidly in any camp, and I’ve come to believe that my circle of influence doesn’t have to be large to be powerful. But I’m really not happy about this.
Thank goodness I don’t put all my hope in this world where we can tear each other down and forget to build one another back up. My hope lies in a place where we no longer believe the lies we tell ourselves, where we no longer measure our kids by their performance, where we no longer divide ourselves into two opposing camps of right and wrong.
And that’s a great big truth.
What are you reading lately? Did you kids take the test? And if you dare, feel free to talk politics, but I’d rather talk kale recipes.