The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Waldorf and Wrenches February 1, 2012

Today was simply magical. Elihu and I have received some news that has transformed our lives. It’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for months now. It’s been a concern of ours for several years, yet as with so many other aspects of life, even something so important eventually becomes just another item on the list and it passes easily without being mentioned. This subject? School.

While Elihu does indeed enjoy school for the most part and does well academically, it’s never been a terribly easy place for him to exist. It’s a tricky environment for an achromat for whom florescent lights are fatiguing and color coding means nothing. Kinda tricky for a nature boy who can’t even pretend to share an interest with his classmates in video games and pop culture. Public school, even a ‘blue ribbon award winning’ school as Greenfield Elementary is, is just plain kinda tricky for my son. Never been a natural fit. And so, since the beginning of first grade, I’ve had my eye on the local Waldorf School as an option. As it takes a lot of money to attend – as in my entire annual household income – I’d essentially put it out of my mind. Besides, the Waldorf moms seemed to me like ‘greener-than-thou’ types in their moisture-wicking, high-end yoga wear and fair trade alpaca ski hats who could actually afford the luxury of eating all organic food. Not my peers. Just a greener version of the new-moneyed residents of my rural hamlet. It had already taken me several years to feel remotely comfortable with that lot; I didn’t have the oomph to learn a new parent scene. So there it lay. But each year, I’d sense the stress that lay just beneath the surface of a happy school experience. Call it a mother’s intuition; I’ve just always known that something was amiss. I’d watch my son’s school bus disappear around the corner and say a quiet prayer of thanks to all those who’d watch over him through the day, adding my hopes that today he’d finally feel he belonged there.

This afternoon we learned that Waldorf will have him if he chooses. I’m over the moon today! There is no waiting list, the teacher herself is thumbs up, the admissions director is on board! Yay! There’s room at the inn! Some people wait years for a space in a Waldorf School. Few people actually even have a Waldorf School in their area. We do! And Elihu is welcome there! I don’t know how we’ll pay for it yet – I just plain don’t. But it will happen. I know this. I do. The school can offer some tuition assistance, but we’ll have to do our part too. Sadly, I don’t hope for any help at all from Elihu’s paternal grandparents; they’ve essentially disowned us. And my folks aren’t really able either. Nor am I. But still, In fact, if we were to find the money right now, he could start tomorrow. So now the hunt for tuition begins. Elihu and I have had the conversation about sponsors many times before (each time after a tearful, post-school episode in which he begs me to get him into Waldorf) and so today I’ve penned a few letters which I’m going to send out to a short list of candidates. I’ll make a plea or two on Facebook, and indeed, hope readers will consider this too a call for help. If anyone would like to help us reach our current goal of twenty-seven hundred dollars for this second semester, oh how grateful we’d be. There it is. Elihu is at the doorstep of a whole new life. He and I are thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. I will sleep with a new peace tonight.

There was also another addition to the day’s unexpected magic… As I pulled into the inner portion of our long driveway today, I saw several large boxes leaning against the old, broken gate. Maximus, our goose, has lately taken to pursuing our visitors rather aggressively, and while he hasn’t actually attacked anyone (violently, that is) he has become something of a deterrent to folks getting out of their cars. Such was the case with the UPS guy, apparently, for the gate is a good hundred yards from the house. My son and piano student got out and picked up the boxes to walk them in on foot. I drove behind, in absolute amazement. Huh? Seriously, what could these packages be? Who on earth were they from?

Guess what the boxes contained? Tools! Really – I mean whole sets of tools. Screwdriver bits, drill bits, ratchet wrenches, socket wrenches, adjustable wrenches, friggin pipe wrenches – screwdrivers, pliers, allen wrenches – both standard and metric yet! An insanely complete set of tools – many of which I honestly cannot see a future use for – but many of which I can. I had only just this past weekend given Elihu his first proper lesson in drilling. I’d brought some scrap in from the garage and assembled screws, drill bits and such on the kitchen floor for him to begin experimenting. The dollar store screwdriver bits were chewed up and didn’t grab too well for drilling, making the lesson a bit less inspiring. (After a time it didn’t really matter; he bored of the exercise and ended up fashioning a rotor blade of cardstock and turning the drill into a propeller. Ultimately, he is ever about things that fly.) It was the most astonishing thing. My student thought it was funny – and told me I had to mention on my blog how I’d said “OMFG” over and over again… (I’d hoped the “F” would cloak my explative. Yeah, right.) At last, I can fix that blasted kitchen chair that takes a crazy, six-sided allen wrench which is actually included in the set! I know, a hexagon wrench isn’t that exotic, but it’s evaded me for the two decades I’ve had these ratty, loose chairs. So there! Tomorrow you shall all be tightened!

I so enjoyed that suspended state of not knowing who sent it, of believing some supernatural character like Santa Claus to be responsible, so I put off looking for the packaging slip for a good while. But we eventually found it, and I did learn the kind sender. I hope that he is smiling as he reads this. I hope it makes him happy to know that this day his gift created a moment of pure delight and surprise for three people in a tiny country house far from the road. These tools will be a useful part of our homestead for many, many years. Thank you. Really. Thanks, you sweetie, you.

And with that, I am off to sleep happily.

 

One Response to “Waldorf and Wrenches”

  1. drenredfox Says:

    I appreciate your blog so very much! Both of my boys (8 y/o and 17 m/o) were diagnosed as Achromats due to their Blue-Cone Monochromacy. It has been extremely hard for the oldest in school, he’s testing high, but his visual impairments make it so much harder for him to complete his work on time in a “normal” classroom. We have been working with the specialists from the school since we were made aware of his condition, but I know that he gets frustrated with us trying to “catch up” to where he is at. Thanks again…


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