We are crawling out from under this snow-packed winter freezer-burnt and dreading the imminent Quinn-shaped hole our oldest son will be making once we pay his first college dues. SOMEthing had to be done.
And it’s equal parts terrifying and exciting, but after a decade in Maine, we’re moving.
Not just moving. I mean we’re reaaaallllly MOVING. As in: we’re trading everything out for a ‘67 Airstream that we’ll be living, learning, and working in all next school year. And no - I am not running a temperature. (But thank you for asking.)
The seeds of this tinfoil hat idea were cast this past summer, when we drove from Portland to Portlandia, putting Roman through a steady diet of therapeutic paces and daily change. We temporarily quenched our wanderlust, had all kinds of adventures, and it was awesome.
Most unexpectedly, a serendipitously short letterboarding session in Austin napalmed our paradigm of Roman as a funny, quirky kid dis-abled by autism, ADHD, surgically corrected Epilepsy, sensory issues, and developmental delays. He revealed himself to be far more capable than we had suspected - so much so that we went back this January to confirm that it hadn’t all been a fluke. Spoiler Able alert: it wasn’t.
Exciting, right? I've written a fair amount about getting Roman ready for the services cliff - it's something we constantly have in mind. How to get him the skills he needs to cope with the world. And then I read Richard Louv’s words: “If we hope to improve the quality of life for our children, we need a larger vision.”* Oh. Ooookay.
So this next year, this Leap Year, as I’m calling it, is my version of a larger vision for both Roman and his sister. We’re leaping from 5 to 4, from mortgage to mobile, from vacuum to dust-buster, and from public schooling to unschooling.**
Having been raised in the Age of Irony, I’m hoping that our Leap Year project won’t end up being a cautionary tale.*** After all, the grass IS greener on the other side, but I hear that it is just as hard to mow. And mow? WE WILL, as we work our way through the States on organic farms as WWOOFers.****
Ditching the ashtray and swapping our Rooney-dog for the stuffed lion, I’m 100% (scratch that) 70% certain it will look like this 1967 ad. Chartreuse is my color, and I’m definitely going with the bouffant hairdo, silk dress and kitten heels. We're already here. Might as well go all in, yes?
* Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006.
** More on that next week.
*** Famous last words: hold my beer.
**** Pray for us.