Photo: I came out of the school meeting last night and saw the gorgeous church in the early evening and was just awestruck. I am a sucker for New England churches… The way that they light this one is quite lovely, and I know that my little cell phone camera does it NO justice. If I win this short story contest, I promise to invest in a GOOD camera. A blog worthy camera.

The preschool had their end-of-the-year parent meeting last night and I really can’t believe it. Mostly because it is a bit of a milestone for me: two years ago, I was one of the new moms at the meeting, dressed up to make a good first impression, having never walked into the school before and not knowing what to expect. People were kind, which is what mattered. This time around, though still dressed nicely to make a good impression on the new folk, I had a beer before with friends and came in a little late.

It’s a week big for school. The last meeting was last night (and the assignment of next year’s jobs, grr) and Saturday is the auction. I’m not a fan of the auction and really don’t want to go, but two women who I love and respect, who I really consider to be friends, are running and hosting the event, so… I’m packing my best attitude and committing to going. I hate ostentatious showing of wealth, though, so I know that I’ll end up leaving early. That’s for the best. I don’t have money to spend anyway.

It’s funny, though, how the time goes by, and relationships build and everything is great. Yet, there are things that are the same and disappointing. This is my third time going to this meeting, and I was, for the third time, disappointed to be the only Black person there. There is one other woman of color, who I believe is of Indian descent but I’ve never been so rude as to ask, who I am also becoming friends with. Her boys are also bi-racial, which is great. But it looks like it will just be us again next year.

Some of you are probably like, “you know where you live. You know what this is. Why do you expect it to be different?” I suppose it’s my naivete… but there are other people of color who live here. Surely one of them has a preschooler and can send them to my preschool. Right? Right!?

No? I’m crazy?

Fine.

So now I am sitting here trying not to psych myself out for the rest of the week. The sleep sack is done (and beautiful) and already at the school. I really hope it sells well. I’m nervous about it. The auction is being held at a mansion in the middle of town. And no, not a McMansion, a real mansion. With a 7-figure price tag that starts with a number larger than 1. Yeah, for serious. I don’t know why I allow myself to be intimidated by stuff like this. It really shouldn’t matter to me, and yet it does. It’s not quite jealousy, though, at its base, it is. I’m ambitious, I guess. I’m not wise enough to give up the chase for the next best thing.

Actually, you know what I’m learning, as I pay attention to conversations and these relationships I’m building? Generational wealth really is a thing. Lots of inheritances, trust funds, houses given for pennies. One of my favorite moms has a fleet, a literal fleet of Audis in her driveway, and she didn’t purchase a single one. Mother-in-law gets them, drives them for a while, then just gives them to her and her husband. All she’s paying is the insurance and the maintenance. When you don’t have to pay for the big-ticket items, you have a lot of expendable income. When the generations before you have accumulated enough wealth that you don’t have to think about it, suddenly nothing is expensive. It all kind of makes sense. It’s ridiculous and frustrating, but it makes sense. And it’s not that these people don’t work, the husbands do and some of the wives do, too, but it’s different: They have incomes and help. It’s that little extra umph that makes this lifestyle easy for them.

Maybe, if The Husband and I work hard enough, we can make that a thing for our boys. Or, hey, maybe if we work hard enough, they will make enough that they can get us nice things. 🙂

Our hard work is paying off. The end-of-the-year slideshow painted the picture of another happy school year come and gone. The boys with their friends, the boys painting or playing with playdough, even a video of Minor singing. The whole group of parents really enjoyed the presentation last night. I wish every preschooler could have the experience that my boys and their classmates are having. Volcano day, special projects, space exploration, lots of hugs and giggles and bubbles… these preschool years, on the surface, look academically meaningless, but they build such a strong foundation for their future attitudes toward school and learning. It is the best, and most expensive gift we can give them right now.

The bitter sweet of it all is that next school year will probably be our last year at this school. Major will be off to kindergarten Fall 2016 and I’m going to be spending a lot of time over the next few months choosing a school for him (I get to choose from 5!!! What!?). Because there is the potential that he will only go half day (full day comes with a $4,000 tuition, and is granted by lottery), we will have to consider pulling Minor out of this school and putting him in a new one for a year. I can be in two towns at once picking up my kids, so… I don’t know what we’re going to do.

There is time yet before the next transition. Right now, it’s about building on what we have, keeping our eye on the horizon, and keeping the boys growing and happy. That’s the true north.

The boys are driving me crazy, I’m submitting my short story on Friday (after getting some late-minute notes from my trusted beta readers) and I am way behind on the sleep sack for my sister-in-law, due next weekendBut, I will have Quiet Thoughts for you on Friday.

I think. I hope. 😉

See you then.

Oh, and this is for Leah:

CameraZOOM-20150513130520563

They are still perfect because I haven’t had a chance to use them! Hopefully, this weekend. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Suddenly You Look Up And Two Years Have Passed

  1. I love that you mention generational wealth…it’s a slippery slope towards believing that you worked hard to start on third base, and I often have to remind myself that although I work hard, it is my dad’s hard work that still gives me much of what I have. I wonder about what I have to do to keep my own child humble and hardworking, because he is certainly starting on third base and won’t even know it. Not that I have a fleet of Audis of course. But my hand-me-down Honda Pilot definitely gives me disposable income that I did not have to work for.

    As always, great post, so much food for thought, thanks and hugs.

    >

    • I used to tell myself that if I can stay humble by example, work hard and do the right thing in front of the boys, I’ll be setting them up to stay humble and hardworking themselves… Then Major started up the whining phase and I have given up all hope on all of the things. So… I ain’t got no answers for you. They are all gonna be privileged little so-and-sos!!!

      Just kidding…

      But seriously, to see generational wealth in action is really an astonishing thing. I mean it is one then when middle class families pass down the used washer or dryer or little things… it’s another thing when it’s luxury cars or houses or memberships to fancy clubs or vacations to fabulous places… it’s just a fascinating show to watch. A few of the women are candid about it, “yeah, my dad and mom never bought anything when we were kids. Now they’ve got it and they want to spoil their grand kids and take us on trips.” But not always. It’s interesting stuff. This place… I feel like I live in a teen dystopian novel.

  2. Ooooh i could so get into thise grill pans. Way fancier than the aluminum foil and toothpicks lol

    Thanks for the last two years. It has become a better part of my life to share bits of all y’alls.

    So, about these rich folks: they got any history in their mansions and generations, or are they like vegas rich? Like, I will admit, as much as I’d like to see the poor get a leg up, I appreciate the past and what it has built. Thank you rich folks for our art museums, and Washington DC. Thanks for my library cards and cathedrals. Thank you for keeping records.

    And thanks for the church pic, dude, no shoddy drywall there! Did the floors creak? Love that.

    I find myself jealous of your address quite a bit; you’re like in the hub of our birth. So badass.

    Until winter, then I sit in my shorts and snicker at your snow.

    Good luck with the auction and preschool. Hope you find some more brown people. Perhaps distribute some flyers…

    • I don’t think I could ever leave the East Coast simply because of stuff like this. But, then again, I would love to go out west and see the endless landscape. Father used to tell me stories about riding on a bus with the army cross country, fall asleep looking at a mountain range and desert, waking up 2 hours later and it looking like he never moved. Just endlessness. Vastness. I’d love to experience that. I think I would be curious about what a desert looks like anyway! That would be cool! The East feels crowded and old… and I appreciate that… but I’d love to experience that wild feeling of great potential out in the rest of the country. You know?

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