23 September 2015


Today as the kids are all off from school for Yom Kippur  my friend Tasneem and I took Roan and Eamon and Suraiya and Mahla to Queens Farm.  It was super fun and mostly the kids lept around on bales of hay and fed some very rotund goats.  

Did I mention they dressed themselves for the occasion?  Apparently Suraiya was worried as she put on her cowboy hat and boots that Roan would tease her for her outfit.  Um, yeah, no.

Roan, Suraiya, Mahla


These two


21 September 2015




Roan had his first day of Kindergarten on September 9th and it was at a new school, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. Roan has now been to three different schools in three years so he seemed to adjust pretty quickly. While he had a great year at PS20 last year we became increasingly convinced that Roan wouldn't be able to get the support at PS20 that we know he needs. 

Roan is not a "go along to get along" kid.  He doesn't sit and stay on command, he is not obedient or cooperative or patient or attentive.  This, I know, makes him sound like a spoiled asshole, but he's not.  He doesn't lack discipline or structure, he lacks a control dial to keep his mental RPMs in check. The thing I find myself saying to him most often (despite his assertion below) is "SLOW DOWN". He is a very perceptive and empathetic and thoughtful boy when you can catch him.

In the playground this makes him fun, but in an academic setting it makes him the "problem child" because he commands so much attention from the adults. He has had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) since age 2 when his preschool teacher came to our house and told us that he was at a loss as to how to contain Roan in class. Roan's "problems" are not really his problems at all; he is quite happy going at 80 miles per hour. He's like Road Runner. They are our problems because we have an absurdly homogeneous way of teaching and managing children.

After years of OT (Occupational Therapy) and a SEIT (special Education Itinerant Teacher) to help us understand what makes Roan tick we have learned a hell of a lot, most importantly that if you really want to help him to slow down and take things in you have to work from the inside out (helping him to learn to get out his energy and then calm his body before trying to work with his mind) rather than the outside in (reprimanding him for not sitting still by making him stay in during recess).

Brooklyn Prospect is, as best we can tell, very much an inside-out school.  We were very very lucky to get a spot there.  AND, by sheer coincidence, one of Roan's teachers just happens to be one of my sister's very best friends.  How's that for kismet?

ANYHOW,  I am starting a tradition this year which is the Annual First Day of School Interview.  Here are his answers (written by me) for Kindergarten.

12 September 2015


Can you believe it's finally not 95 degrees out there? I am wearing jeans for the first time in eons (maternity jeans, natch).

Summer is over and I am just getting to the Fourth of July.  Editing backlogs have a way of creeping up on you like piles of receipts or laundry.

We went to Rochester for the 4th - Eamon's maiden voyage out of the city.

I think this was an IHOP? Or maybe Dennys. Anyhow, Roan got to eat a waffle for dinner.

Rochester is like 7 hrs drive from NYC, so I got us a hotel room for the night on the way. My only requirements were that they took dogs and there was a hot tub. I found these flowers while walking Gracie on the grounds.

They also had a basketball court at the hotel, which was unexpected.

We stayed in Corning, NY that night, the home of Corningware, and they have an amazing Museum of Glass. This is a stack of glasses all found in secondhand shops and the like.  I kept wondering who dusts.

I know it's tacky to photograph Mennonites but they looked so crisp and clean compared to everyone else. And those hats look almost glasslike, like vases.

We also stopped in at Watkins Glen State Park. It's amazing, but packed with tourists.

Roan and I walked behind the waterfall!

It used to be some Robber Baron's private estate, thus all the beautiful stonework

Rochester at last!  The boys (dads included) spent an entire afternoon constructing and shooting off bottle rockets

Sawyer and Roan

In the dictionary next to "enchanting" there is a picture of this child, Ivy.  With bubbles and lettuce.

Ivy's secret garden

Bedtime stories. Glad to see Roan is paying attention, as usual.

Jerome and Sam with Eamon and Gracie, getting ready for a paddle in the canoe

Their friends Fay (with Elijah) and Pascal also drove up from Brooklyn for the weekend. Jerome with Eamon in the sling

Gracie. Styling by Ivy. Photo by Sam.

Eamon is like this all the time. All. The. Time.

Competitive swinging

Dads and their boys taking a break from all the hard work

B shocked the hell out of us by juggling fire!  Apparently he had a whole other life as a street performer (I'm not at all surprised)

Their neighbors put on a HUGE fireworks display in their yard

Me and Eamon pool lounging

This pretty much sums up how Roan and Sawyer were the whole time. By day 3 Sawyer went to his mom and said "I need a break from Roan"!

Aaand we bookend the trip with shitty Diner food on the way home.  It's the American way.  Happy 4th of July!