Wednesday, October 12, 2011

grants & messes

My life is being temporarily and completely enveloped by grant writing.  I am writing three grants for my children's elementary school.  I have had all summer to write them, but of course waited to work on them until the absolute last minute.  I am staying up late, spending hours during the day, neglecting to make dinner, and shrugging when my kids ask if they can eat ice cream for breakfast.

I have been surprised during my involvement with the elementary school and the PTA by the financial situation of the school.  I have been shocked by the limited resources available to teachers for field trips.  (We live in a high income area and the school district is rated highly in the state.)  I have been impressed but also disappointed by the strict district curriculum the teachers are expected to follow - mostly because they hesitate to accept available outside resources to enhance it.  I remember going on field trips often when I was in elementary school.  Last year my son only went on one field trip.  My daughter went on two.  It seems absolutely unacceptable to me that they should have less than six field trips each year in elementary school.

Hopefully these grants will help increase the funds available for enriching activities - away from their elementary school.  I feel like these grants are a priority for me. I have a personal investment.  My grant writing is voluntary.  Then why didn't I put more time into researching and writing during the summer?

While scrambling to write the third grant this morning, my 2-year-old son was busy opening little bottles of Crayola paint in his older sister's bedroom.  The finished display of his pouring and mixing was truly amazing.  Her pink comforter on her bed looked similar to a professional paint artist that flings and throws cans of paint across a large canvass for a special artistic effect.  While I was scrubbing the carpet after finding that mess, I heard tiny exploding sounds coming from downstairs.  I rushed down and found my two youngest boys throwing handfuls of multi-colored and -sized buttons all around the living room.  My daughter had set up a glue gun (which was by then very hot) and a large piece of cardboard next to a container of buttons on the art table.  She was nowhere to be seen.

Why do we, or rather, I, procrastinate things that are a priority - especially when it makes everything else so painful?

I think one reason is that it is so easy not to do things - even when they are important to us.  Especially when the sun is shining and my kids are so much fun to go on adventures with. (Plus, the house stays so much cleaner when we aren't in it.)

Usually I can't wait for school to begin after a summer packed with craziness and stir-crazy kids.  This year, I'm not quite ready.  I would like to have a bit more of this:

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