Four boys ages 4, 5, 7 and 8. How wild can it get? Sliding down the stairs on blanket and pillow sleds squishing and squashing each other in a heap of giggles and laughter. Head-butting with boxes in the basement. Hiding, biking, swinging, running, screaming, fighting, making up and when it’s time for Chinese hotpot, they fish for treasures in the soup. It’s another stay with a worldschooling family – again thanks to the Worldschoolers on Facebook and to Lesley who formed a group of her friends who could possibly host us in Calgary where she’s from. Miranda took us in and the boys hit it off with their love of Legos and their energy, energy, energy. Jason bonded with baby Nicolas while I had long conversations with Miranda about parenting, homeschooling, family and global issues.
What are the chances that the families we stay with back to back both do not use toilet paper? They do provide paper for their guests but for themselves, they use something called family cloth. The chances may be good if the people happen to be part of the Attachment Parenting Village of Calgary where some moms take eco-action seriously. Miranda makes her own soap, shampoo, compost, the most delicious kimchi among other things. It’s a sharp and welcome contrast to the prevalent consumerism and disposable culture practiced commonly in developed nations.
Dexter and Theo have been homeschooled before but are trying formal school for a year and after, Miranda can’t wait to switch back to homeschooling. Dexter and Theo are both early readers and 8-year old Dex is on his second time reading Lord of the Rings on his own. Talking to Miranda, all my fears and doubts about homeschooling dissipate but linger after. She asks me where my insecurities about homeschooling come from and it’s quite a long story. I think I need to talk to her more but we stay for a day and a half only.
Miranda takes us to the newly opened Fish Creek bike park where the kids rode up and down the humps and bumps amongst older riders flying larger leaps. Jimmy and I take the smooth route round a small lake, a bridge across a river, past people fishing and into a dead end that forces us to trace our way back and overshoot by a bit. We arrive as the others finish the stunt track.
Miranda and Charlie’s wedding photo and art works by Theodore and Dexter: