Starry Nights and Street Fairs

English: Pleiades Star Cluster

English: Pleiades Star Cluster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trite as it sounds, sometimes as a parent you have to make hard decisions.  Husband and I had to make one of those last week.  Flower Child’s school has an annual overnight camping trip.  After much discussion, asking questions about the plans for trip, student teacher ratio,  and watching how she’s been doing and feeling, we felt we had to say no. It was the right decision, but it sucked to come to it anyway.  I got a phone call from one of her teachers after the decision was made, one I don’t speak with regularly.  He asked if there was any information he could offer to help us to feel better about the trip, etc.  I absolutely believe he was coming from a good place, but it sure made that voice in my head–the one that whispers about how unfair things can be–a whole lot louder.

Yesterday I planned to go to the craft store with Flower Child so she could pick out a small pad of sketch paper.  Hopefully we’re going to get to the park today so she can find a tree she likes and sketch it.  The pad she had at home is too large and heavy for her to carry or manipulate in the middle of the park.  She has always loved art.  She loves to draw, and has been doing a lot of it recently.  Since getting the iPad for schoolwork, it seems like she has enough energy and strength left at the end of the day to put more into it and enjoy it.  Watching her have fun and progress with this is a particular pleasure I can’t put into words.

When we left the apartment, we saw there was a nearby street fair, first of the season for us. No reason we were in a hurry, so we walked the fair for a bit.  Most of the fairs run for about 10 blocks.

This is from a couple of years ago, they're $5 a pop now.

This is from a couple of years ago, they’re $5 a pop now.

Really, there’s only three blocks worth of booths.  Two blocks of wares that keep repeating, and every so often something different thrown in.  Still, on a nice day, and before you’ve had 5 straight weekends of traffic being messed up from them, it’s a nice thing to do.  We went past a booth of inexpensive art prints, Flower Child spent some time looking at the Van Goghs (she loves his work).  As I looked at the Starry Night print, I thought of how much Flower Child would enjoy being somewhere she could see the stars at night. Cuppa guilt, anyone?  I splurged on a couple of arepas (delicious for about 45 seconds, after you’ve burned your mouth on the first few bits but before you’re eating cold sweet corn grease) and went on to the craft store after strolling for four blocks.

The craft store was having a sale on sketch books.  Score!  Got two small sketch pads and a pad of tan paper so she can figure out how to use her white pastels.  Then we were just looking at the different art materials.  They had Bob Ross kits.  At this point, she isn’t into painting, but I was telling her about him when a man walked by and we ended up chatting about art.  He turned out to be an art teacher, made a couple of recommendations for paper for Flower Child, I added a large pad of newsprint paper to our pile.  Who needs groceries?   I took his contact info.  Nice guy, maybe we can figure out a way to get her lessons.

We were out for a little under two hours, and I was feeling great.  A beautiful sunny day, relaxing, no pressure-no rush strolling, got Flower Child what she wanted plus some, a nice New York moment in the craft store.  When we got to our corner, I told her we had to take the dogs out for a quick walk.  “Right now?  Can we rest for five minutes first?”  Pop goes my bubble.  She was out of energy, literally exhausted from the couple of hours out and walking around.  Oh yeah, this was why the plan was to buy the sketch pad one day, and go to the park the next.  And this was why saying no to the trip was the right call, much as we wish it was different.

4 "vine" charcoal sticks and 4 compr...

4 “vine” charcoal sticks and 4 compressed charcoal sticks. Drawing materials. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  1. Had a similar thing with Amy a while back a group of 14 year olds planning a mixed sex camping sleep over. we said no. it was horrible. Did your mum think we were planning a gang bang one of the boys asked her. later emerges she fancied one of them. right call, equally hard.
    I love stumbling into street fairs always feels so happy and fun.
    Light pollution is a bummer.


    1. It is hard. Sometimes this parenting gig is joyous, other times, not so much.

      I’m hoping our good, Flower Child art focused weekend will make it a bit easier.
      Yes, unexpected street fairs are fun 🙂


  2. It sounds like a totally wonderful day. My daughter is 19 now and I’d forgotten how easy it is to continue beating one’s self up over decisions that have to be made. Sounds like you made the right one. You’re a really good mom.


      1. We’re finally get real spring weather – almost summer weather! Today will be 22c (72f)! I plan on hanging out in the sunshine. I’d love to see some your daughter’s artwork!


        1. Beautiful! We’ve been having some nice sunny days here, too. Cooler than you, still in the 60’s, but I’m still loving the sun!

          I was thinking I might post some of her artwork, I have to figure out how to get a watermark on the photos, first. I don’t like the idea of a stranger “borrowing” her photos without credit to where it belongs.


  3. You’re usually so outrageous it’s sobering when you are being sobering. Cool that Flower Child likes Van Gogh – me too. Have to support my fellow epileptics and their unique view of the world. Always seeing, smelling, and hearing differently than others when the temporal lobe starts focusing on small bits of input rather than the whole picture. It makes me tired sometimes. Good for you, Mother Fringe !


    1. Thank you 🙂
      Yes, I think there is a unique view of the world, whether it comes from those storms in the brain, meds, living a life of medical intervention, or all of these things, I don’t know. But she is a special person with her own take on things, and I love seeing the world through your eyes, too 🙂


      1. Weird world…turning what is considered by most problematic into unique sensory experience. Art is one of the very few areas them masses will ever appreciate special takes on anything…and an understanding and encouraging sponsor/support system seems to be a must. Again, good for you and Flower Child.


        1. For anyone, I’m a huge believer in capitalizing on strengths. For anyone with extra “challenges,” even more so.
          Your comment reminded me of a book, wondering if you’ve read it. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman. The story of a Hmong family in America, who have a child who is severely impacted by epilepsy and find themselves in this American culture, where we view it so differently than the Hmong interpretation.
          This girl is not you, and not Flower Child (who is more medically involved than I believe you are), but it’s a clear take on culture clash, and how different viewpoints can change everything.


          1. Haven’t heard of it. The best book I’ve seen on epilepsy is “Lying” by Lauren Slater. She calls it a metaphorical memoir, and the whole book is arranged in the form of an epileptic seizure…the onset, the falling down, etc. Slater is now a therapist, so she’s got the personal view and the clinical view, and it’s just one the best written books I’ve ever read, no matter what the subject matter is. I am always recommending this book for organization and the extended metaphor, which can often seem heavy-handed, used to the utmost effectiveness.


          2. Haven’t read it, but it’s now on my to be read list.
            For all that’s been learned, the brain is still poorly understood, and many cultures are still rampant with misinformation about the bits we do know.


          3. It is a structural stunner…and I don’t use that word but two or three times a year, because little except electricity is stunning…which epilectics live with every day. I met her at the first Imagination Writer’s Conference I worked and we had five days to talk it over, then I read the Lying copy she gave me, and every time I’ve woke up in hospitals or on the floor not knowing who I was, where I was, or if I should be doing something seemed more special than embarassing and scary.


          4. And it moves farther up the list. 🙂
            I think that has to be one of the more difficult aspects of uncontrolled, or not completely controlled, epilepsy–the disorientation and holes in the memory. But that’s my take as someone who doesn’t have epilepsy, but is responsible for someone who does.


          5. I got amnesia once playing sports…had no idea what I was doing, if I was supposed to be doing it, and where I was doing it. A grand mal is exactly like that for ten minutes to half an hour. The petit mals are just amusing, now that I understand them…why all I can hear in a room full of talking and music is the ticking of a clock, or all I can see are red things while all else is gray, or I’m the only one who smells smoke. I don’t recommend it, but it is a trip.


          6. FC has many issues with memory, and often gets completely confused and overloaded.
            Seizures can present so differently, depending on the path they take in the brain.
            I’ve got another book rec for you, not on epilepsy, but the brain. The Midnight Disease, by Alice Flaherty. A lot about hypergraphia and depression (both things that are often comorbid with epilepsy).


          7. This is a long string. We could probably wear out our welcome talking a night or a week away at some beach-front bar with our toes in the sand and our thoughts swirling like smoke from a beach bonfire. Weird world, these internetz connects. So glad I found you in Cyberlandia.
            Saludos a tu, y tu familia, y espeicalmente La Nina de Flors.


  4. STREET FAIR! I so miss NYC! Plenty of stars in Lancaster, Pa-even a moon. Lovely farm land to sketch as well. Will pick up when ready! ;-)~


  5. See you and Huz had a long convo. He had me read that book, and it is amazing, even to a literary dilettante like myself. How about some of Flower Child’s art in a post? Off to the doctor’s ourselves…got to keep the husband from becoming a fetally scrunched moaner.
    On my Way…


  6. 🙂
    I will definitely read it. As soon as I can figure out how to watermark the pics, I will post some of FC’s art.

    Good luck at the dr’s, I always find life more pleasant when Husband isn’t moaning. 😉


    1. She hasn’t tried painting since she was in preschool. She’s been doing a little experimenting with watercolor pencils, and last week I took out the oil pastels. 🙂

      Painting outside sounds like an excellent plan once the school year is over, thanks 😀


      1. Watercolor pencils are great, I hope to work with them with my niece this summer. I follow a blog written by a school teacher who is also a watercolorist, he is amazing. David Tripp – he does plein aire and studio work and it’s got me thinking about taking my kit out to the river.


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