It's true, we're tired of NYC. It's a hard place to raise a kid: expensive, gritty, etc. And of course with global warming it's hotter than the hinges of hell. As for community, that's always been hard to find, but it's even harder, at least in Sunnyside, to find like-minded moms. Of the six hundred or so moms on our local list serv it seems like four of them are breastfeeding toddlers and two of them are interested in unschooling.
For socializing we go to the playground to throw water balloons and chase pigeons. We've also been going to the local elementary school to get free breakfasts and lunches. (Chicken nuggets are a big hit.) But we wonder more how and why schools continue to exist. Even in the lunch rooms of the summer free lunch program there is fascism. Stand in this line. Sit at your table. The Beast was told not to look at the polar bear mural on the wall. (Sit! sit! sit!, but the Beast is not a sitter.) And the lunch monitors watch us like prison guards (so that the moms don't eat any of the food— it's only for kids.)
Yesterday we went to a better neighborhood to try the lunch at the school there. Same story. A group of 6 year olds supervised by a woman screaming "put your heads down on the table." A book was taken away from a quiet bookish girl. No reading. No reading? This is why we can't imagine sending our kid to school. School is about petty authority and arbitrary rules.
What next? we're slowly building an unschooling network and are integrating sustainable gardening into our landscaping business (autumn planting is about to begin— peas, chard, bok choy) and sometimes it's true we talk about going back to England. Also we're studying butterflies. Cabbage Whites, Question Mark Commas, Eastern Swallowtails.
And meanwhile, we'll gladly take tips about cool places to live on the outskirts of NYC (within 40 minutes commute by train). Cheaper is better. Houses rather than co-ops.
Peace out peops. Whit, I owe you an e.