School Days

5 Things I Miss About England (An Incomplete List)

We lived in England for only four months and I miss it just about every day. Today I wanted a nice cup of strong black tea but didn't have any in the house. Plenty of Earl Grey and Jasmine green and chamomile and etc etc. But not any bog-standard* black tea. I had to order some from Amazon. Made me think of what else I've been missing! Here's a short list:

I miss the green! This was in the park behind out house and we walked there often. Soothing to the soul.

SoSoGreen

I miss Waitrose! This was my last visit to our local Waitrose and I was so sad. Not sure why I loved it so much. A bit nicer than your standard Sainsbury's or Tesco, but not crazy fancy by any means. But they had this brand of prepared foods that we fell in love with. So YUM.

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I miss the tea. Good strong black tea. The Tea aisle in any grocery store in the UK is much more fascinating than our "coffee and tea" aisles in the states.

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I miss the pubs - Especially ones with excellent food and lovely gardens. Like this one - The Holly Bush. (Even better - it's in Potter's Crouch!) Pubs are family friendly, dog friendly, friendly friendly. It's a different type of place that we don't have an equal to here in the US.

HollyBushPub

I miss school uniforms. I never went to a school that required uniforms, so this was a total novelty for me. They are so sweet! I know, I know, anyone who went to school in England is rolling their eyes at me. I loved shopping for these. 

Uniforms

Uniform  Uniformalt

Gawd I can't wait to go back. Until then I have to get my fill with The Crown, British Baking Show and Doctor Who.

 

 *Bog standard is a phrase I learned there and love. I use it still, and always will. 

 

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Flashback to July 2017 - Graduation Fortunes

Last July (2017) Harper had her graduation from Preschool. You can read about it here. What I didn't include in that post but found in my email recently was the thing they said about Harper. The Teacher read out a description of each student in the class and the classmates had to guess who it described. This was Harper's and it made me so happy:

 

"Which one of your friends can always be counted on to be THE PEACEMAKER?  When someone needs a hand, when someone needs help, when someone needs to figure things out .... Who is THE PEACEMAKER!?"
 
I'll be curious to see how this plays out in her life. 

It's Only Been A Month Of Kindergarten...

...And I was surprised when Harper told me someone told her that her Lightning McQueen shoes are boys shoes and why is she wearing them.

Harper said she got embarrassed! NOOOOOOOOO!

So I told her that there is no such thing as boys shoes or girls shoes - boys can wear Frozen shoes and girls can wear Lightning McQueen shoes, it doesn’t matter. And I told her she could always wear anything she wants and I love when she wears whatever she wants.

GAH!!

I talked to her twice about it, making sure she heard me, though I'm not sure she totally understands. But one day she didn't want to wear her Lightning McQueen shoes, specifically, even though she needed sneakers for after school. That made me sad. But we will continue to encourage the "whatever you like" style of clothes and shoe shopping. 

I consulted a dear friend, a wise and wonderful woman who has a nine year old daughter. I wrote her an email with the above and she wrote back almost instantly:

Don't you wish you could say, "Honey, there are fucking assholes in this world that want to steal your peace.  It is okay to tell them to fuck off."

This is why I consult with her. She also had some other good advice about watching videos of kids who dress in all different ways as well as wearing "boys" clothes myself from time to time. So my Christmas list will have some "Boys" items on it...

Raising a girl in this day and age. I'm going to need a lot of deep breaths and to always speak my truth to my beautiful strong girl.


In Which Harper Starts Kindergarten


But first there was Kinder Prep Camp. Brilliant idea to have one week of day camp on the school campus where your kid will start kindergarten. We discussed it a lot before it all happened and Harper seemed excited. And she did great. On the Thursday of that week we arrived at school and found out there was a field trip. On a bus. Going to SYLMAR! (That's an hour a way for those of you non Angelenos.) The communications had not been clear. I suppose it was better for me as I didn't have time to be nervous about her first school bus field trip! At home that night I asked her about the field trip. "Harper, did you ride on a bus?" "Yes! ON THE FREEWAY!" That was the most exciting part for her.

Kinder Camp, making friends (thats her in the back, under the whale tail):

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Then actual Kindergarten started and we had a good first day send off.

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She even finished her first homework assignment. She made her letters "pretty". 

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I've had a lot to learn too. New morning routines, new lunch boxes to fill, though Harper doesn't seem to be eating much these first few days. I'm sure it's all about adjusting to the new world. It's a challenge to fit stuff into tiny sections, but I'm working on it. Harper doesn't like peanut butter so there's 50% of lunches I thought would be a no-brainer. Oh well. 

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It's a whole new world for us all. And we are taking it one step at a time.