Sunday, May 23, 2010

5/23/2010 Today's tomorrow

This entire day has revolved around tomorrow. SO much to do, and much of it not done.

I'm taking the boys camping on Thursday, and Gabriel has his (thank HEAVENS) last book report due that day. This includes a diorama, an odious time-consuming job that I think adds very little to the learning. And for working parents with other children, it places a tremendous time burden on us. I was really really resentful of having to make our weekend work around this. But I couldn't blow it off; that's a far worse lesson to teach Gabriel. And I can't just let him take his licks by not doing it -- he's too young to be held accountable. He just doesn't care.

These projects can't be done by the kids by themselves -- they don't drive themselves to the library, plan a 5-week project around other family commitments, buy art supplies, know how to depict something a cricket needs to live. It requires heavy parental involvement, which I know is part of the intent of the project, an intent I object to and find almost insulting. So instead of baking cookies as I'd promised the boys, we worked.

It's not like we parents can't find fun things to do with our kids on their own. Some of them might even be educational. How about walking through WWII bombers, meeting war veterans and sparking discussion about what the planes were used for and what the war was about?

Like walking through a B-17. Up the ladder into the nose!

It's easy to wind around the ball turret when you're their size. (I had little trouble too though I did duck.)

The B-24 Liberator. Boys are immediately attracted to the machine guns of course.

A kind soul offered a group shot. I treasure this! Especially because I'm going to fly on the B-24 next year.

I hear it's quite a plane. It certainly looks odd in the sky, with its deep belly and almost comical tail fins. Getting to its nose is much more difficult than on the B-17. On the 17, you crouch; on the 24, it's strictly hands-and-knees through a narrow passageway to a cramped area in the front. And the bomb bay is tighter to squeeze through and twice as long. Even I had to turn to the side to get through it, and that's without wearing any flight gear or parachute. How did those guys do it?! However, I'll always have top respect for the hardy B-17 -- not as sexy or fast and didn't carry as high a bomb payload, but so rugged they somehow managed to get wounded airmen and wounded planes home far beyond expectations.

Massive cleanup tonight for the cleaners...I swear, after 3 weeks our house is teetering on being completely out of control with stuff EVERYWHERE. But we have no margin for error to tidy up during the week or other weekends. Not when the school decides we must spend quality time with our (one) child.


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