Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Groundhog (Park) Day

I don't know about all my other Mississippi/Louisiana friends, but I am still having trouble dealing with this whole Katrina aftermath. Most noticeably, I don't seem to be firing on all synapses. "Rita who?" I almost asked someone who remarked that although she lingered a while, she wasn't so bad. I was thinking "ex-girlfriend?" and then "oooooh, right. The other hurricane."

I went to park day yesterday. No one else showed up. I was disappointed but determined to make the best of it. As I pitifully hummed the second verse to "Alone again...naturally", I spied a mom with a tiny baby AND a few school-age kids. I approached her and struck up a conversation (Nosy? Who me? I prefer to call this networking.) and found out that she is, indeed, a homeschooler. Her youngest four--ranging in age from 3 weeks to 9 years old--have and will never, she says, step foot in a government-run school although her oldest is 18 and will graduate this year from PS.

While our children played, we had a lengthy, pleasant conversation (which, of course, included my brief-but-oh-so-interesting PEAK pitch.) and learned that we have a lot in common, so we traded contact information. As they were leaving, she stopped to chat with a mom of four children entering the park. They seemed to be admiring each other's babies and gear.

Mom #2's oldest looked schoolish age, so --you know--I networked. Guess what: another homeschooler. No kidding! Another complete stranger with four kids ages 3 months to 5 years who also didn't like any of the homeschool groups she's encountered. Never heard of PEAK (I'd carry a sign if it didn't get in my way.) and thought it was a great concept.

We chatted briefly and I learned that she "graduated" homeschool right here in the Jackson area, and (because the conversation naturally led to difficulties she faced as a HEK decades ago) she mentioned that she received LSU's top academic scholarship (here's the part where I mention that Scott, who is defisking HoNDA at COD's place, thinks federal legislation is necessary to "protect" today's HEKs from discrimination... insert snide ironic comment). I gave her my contact info, then left.

Not bad for a no-show park day! wasn't park day. It was Tuesday. Park days are on Wednesday. Somewhere in the post-Katrina mental noise, my brain lost Tuesday. All day yesterday, from breakfast to bedtime, I thought it was Wednesday. As a matter of fact, I woke up today thinking it was Thursday and was fully prepared to take Dag to ballet until Jack called. Several minutes **after** that conversation about which of us was picking up my sister from the airport tomorrow/Thursday, I thought "tomorrow? Thursday? ...wait a minute... WHAT HAPPENED TO TUESDAY?!"

And just like that, I had an extra day! So...we went to the park.

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