Indulge me if you will. The only daughter that I will have the experience of sending off to kindergarten (my step-daughter was grown by the time we met,) is now a full-fledged kinder-kid and I want to share about that experience.
I have wondered whether this was a Playful-Planet-appropriate topic, and while I cant answer for sure, my sense is that my desire to spend more quality time with my daughter as back-to-school approached has a lot to do with raising healthy, balanced kids on a healthy planet.
My work is self-monitored. It is part of the mixed blessing of starting a business. The bad news: no paycheck (yet!) The good news: I can take time off when I choose. And I chose to release Lily from her summer pre-school a week early so that we could have some fun and games before initiating her into big-girl school.
For our family, camping is an adventure that brings a lot of joy and the chance to slow down and connect. After a very fulfilling experience in a Westfalia earlier this summer, we were open to the idea of purchasing a Westy of our very own. Little did we know that one block away lived Randall, the manager of world-renowned GoWesty who was looking to sell one of his very own vehicles. Such luck! We simply couldnt pass it up!
Fortunate for us, we live in one of the most perfect areas for this type of unscheduled outing. Within 30-40 minutes, we can be in any number of truly beautiful outdoor settings to park the old camper van and enjoy the great outdoors and campfires, and beaches, etc. We chose to go to Hearst San Simeon State Park — where we had been before and will, without a doubt, go again. One of Lilys favorite places on the grounds is the little amphitheatre where she loves to stage her own productions (including this rendition of How Much is That Doggie in the Window?)
Dont get me wrong, put me in a nice hotel in San Francisco or fly me to Europe and I will be a happy girl. But there are so many appealing things about jumping in the Westy and heading down the road. I like that we are forced to slow down and enjoy the ride. And, I really like that our entertainment during these trips comes from exploring nature, playing games, and using creativity and imagination to be entertained.
Since we were so close to home, Lilys best friend, Chloe, got to join us for about half the trip which is always fun to have a friend!
We came back in time to have a couple of days at home before school. One day at the pool and one day at the beach — our amazing local beach where we filmed the Save the Whale story. No Hollywood cameras this day though, just the little pocket digital.
The morning of the first day of kindergarten, Lily woke up wide-eyed and ready to roll. She reminded me that this day was not a trial run, but the real thing and shared during breakfast that she was a little nervous about a new school and not knowing who would be in her class. She was an amazing trouper throughout the process, and although she experienced a little crash after school was out, she was still excited to get back to her new school the next day.
I am so grateful for all the moments I get to share with her, big and small. This one felt pretty big.