Well, here we are on the other side of the semester, the election, the holidays — I won’t try to recap three months in one post, but I’ll share a few relevant details.
On the bike
As expected, I put in quite a few miles between getting G to school and getting to my own classes. Most weeks, I was on the hook for seven school drop-off or pick ups , which was quite the change from my previous zero. The two days where I did both drop-off and pick up were the most challenging, often feeling like I made it home only to turn around and go back again.
The biking got more pleasant when the heat abated, making for several nice weeks until it got cold. G’s school run is particularly challenging in the cold: we get all bundled up at home, get to school, go inside, unbundle G, and pack the cold weather gear for me to take home, all while I try to avoid overheating while removing as little of my own gear as possible. Reverse it all in the afternoon.
Between the hassle of bundling/unbundling at school, and the need for an ice/snow backup, we started experimenting with the school bus. G was very resistant, declaring after the first day (which went just fine, despite my fears) that he would never ride the bus again. Tough luck, kiddo.
He rode the bus a few more times before winter break, and it’s become fairly routine, though I expect another adjustment period when school starts in January.
I’m going to try to find some balance between biking and busing — I love biking with him to school for the fresh air and exercise, which is sadly lacking in his one-recess-per-day school (drops to zero if the temp is below freezing), but I also like my sanity.
School lunches (and snacks)
After multiple days of scarcely eaten lunches, I realized that, for better or worse, my kid was too much of a food snob to be into cold leftovers. I can’t really blame him, as I highly prefer the reheated version as well. With that in mind, I bought a nice thermos container and started sending warm lunches. Lo and behold, food wastage decreased drastically.
We reached a decent arrangement on the afternoon-snack-at-school front by agreeing to two days per week when Gabriel eats whatever snack is provided in the classroom and three days where he brings a snack from home. This set-up mostly satisfies my desire for the majority of his snacks to have some nutritional value and to minimize processed foods.
[This feels like a bit of a non sequitur, but it’s important, so here goes . . . .]
After the election, I was disappointed when some bloggers failed to say anything about the results. I felt it was too big NOT to say something, even on food blogs, where political content is not part of the norm, and thus these bloggers either a) agreed with the outcome or b) were too afraid of reader backlash/financial repercussions to speak up.
Though neither “a” nor “b” are true for me (I am deeply distressed with the choice of president, more so every day with each cabinet appointment, and I don’t make any money from this blog, so I really don’t care about readership), I have also been silent on the subject, so I can’t really judge. Mostly, I don’t know what to say (that hasn’t already been said), and I’ve also been trying to do more listening, especially before saying or writing things that might further alienate people.
I did sit down and write a post, trying to sort through things, but a lot of it I wish I had published before the election, when maybe, somehow, it might have made a difference. I may eventually publish it, but for now it will linger in “Drafts.”
And so begins another year, another semester . . . I will continue living and voting my values, working for the world I want to live in, one that is just, equitable, and compassionate. One where people have the knowledge, resources, and support to care for their health and the health of this planet we all call home. Here’s to creating moments of light in the new year, even when things seem dark!
Sounds like you’ve come up with great solutions both where biking and lunches are concerned, huzzah!
I haven’t said that much online about politics post-election, and it isn’t necessarily for fear of alienating people or losing readers, because honestly, I’d just as soon not congregate with people who voted for Agent Orange. For me, it’s more a genuine fear of violent acts from someone in the “real world” finding me. Perhaps this is an overreaction on my part, but the day after the election I removed all of my political bumper stickers from my car… I was honestly just too afraid of what might happen should I encounter some right wing wacko who now feels empowered. My neighborhood is a very tense mix of rednecks and Mexican immigrants, and while I don’t believe in complacency, I also don’t want to make myself a target.
I feel like we’ve entered a dark chapter that will be sooo much worse than people currently understand, and the worst part about it is that I really don’t think that any amount of talking to people will help. I tried so earnestly to communicate with friends both on the left and right before the election, to get them to see reason, or at least to acknowledge that there might be a different perspective, but people seemed to be acting on pure emotion, and completely resistant to logic, reason or empathy.
I really don’t know what to do or say that would be helpful at this moment. Sorry to be such a downer, but I fear the suffering will be immense, and I only hope that we survive it.
Thank you for those inspiring words about 2017!