Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dancing in the Streets

I had no idea what I was getting into. When my son asked, I told him what I knew: "It's a thing in the city with music and friends. There might be a parade."

All true, but not nearly descriptive enough.


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

The "thing" was PRONK, the Providence Honk Festival. According to the PRONK website, PRONK offers "a heartfelt antidote to mainstream culture by inviting people from all walks of life to come together for a day set aside for the celebration of music." The more descriptive blurb says: "[W]e are a cacophonous street celebration with out of town brass bands! We are a street intervention like no other, with outfits and misfits from Rhode Island and beyond."


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

What is was for me was an opportunity to get out of homogeneous suburbia and dance in the streets with fun bands, colorfully garbed humans, and giant creatures.


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

Once the end of the parade passed, the revelers joined in. Trying to walk, dance, and keep an eye on seven children in a crowd, all while swiveling my head to avoid missing anything was a tough recipe for photography, but I did my best.


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

At the end of the parade, the music and dancing continued in place. The energy was incredible. I don't remember the last time I had this much fun.


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

By the end of our celebration, we had seven tired, hungry kids near bedtime. No amount of fun is going to prevent the cranky then, so we did what we had to do--fed them pizza and showed them iPhone videos until it was ready. 


PRONK 2014 - Flotsam of the Mind

I love the space and the quiet of my little suburban town, but I'm hugely grateful to my city-dwelling friends for showing us that there is more to life than what our sleepy little town has to offer. If brass bands, misfits, and giant puppets are part of that, then count me in.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Often Lost and Rarely Found

I was seven, and I still remember the indignity of it.

When I was in elementary school, teachers communicated with parents by sending papers home with us. No one trusted us to actually get the papers home or give them to our parents, so they pinned the papers to us. We could be trusted with straight pins, but not memo delivery. At dismissal, a flock of kids would stream to the buses bearing chestfuls of paperwork like human carrier pigeons.

Thanks to email and social media, my kids have avoided this embarrassment. Teachers and administrators still don't trust our kids to deliver anything (other than those red strike-fear-into-you notices that "someone has lice"), but they can circumvent the children altogether with a quick mass email. If the Internet could only get home all my kids' other stuff, life would be so much easier and less expensive.

Today is my kids' 25th day of school. In those twenty-five days, my two children have lost: three sweatshirts, two water bottles, a fleece jacket, multiple snack containers, and a tennis racket (and a partridge in a pear tree). I went into school today to clear out my son's locker and daughter's desk. I came out with two sweatshirts, two snack bowls, two insulated snack bags, and a book. That was from this week alone.

Fall and spring are the worst. Cool mornings and warm days are more than my kids can handle. They can't manage layering. Kids put on a sweatshirt in the morning, no longer need it mid-recess, and toss it somewhere on the school playground never to be seen again. The school playground is to sweatshirts what the dryer is to socks.

When my son lost his second Lands End hooded sweatshirt in a matter of weeks last fall, I told him that he needed to buy the next one. He chose to go without until I purchased him the next size up this August. My daughter has solved this problem by owning so many hooded sweatshirts that she won't miss one when she leaves it lying in the grass.

I'm tired of trying to keep track of their things, and I hate purchasing replacements. It makes me cranky. My standard Lost Item Rant includes empty threats to staple all of their belongings to them.

I admit that staples seem a little drastic, but does anyone have any straight pins?