Snow has fallen on the world of the Parent Imperfect, and he is happy to see it. Unlike that freak October storm with the giant snowflakes, this feels like winter for real. This is today’s view out the front window of the Parent Imperfact Palace.
Vincent looks forward to the snow more than anyone in the family, as he took up skiing in earnest last year and discovered that he really loves it. Given the chance, he would ski to the exclusion of everything else.
What made his discovery possible was the YES kids program offered by Youth Enrichment Services. YES has designed a program that helps kids from the city learn to ski and snowboard, and then makes it economically possible for them to love their sport after they learn. Vincent took part in six YES trips last year, and will do at least that many this year. He meets a whole new group of teenagers on these trips, and loves the fact that neither parent is there to key an eye on him. They believe, perhaps naively, that someone is doing that.
YES staffs its program with young people who show a real interest in building community among their peers. Several of them came up to Vincent as he picked up his equipment for the year, greeting him and asking if he remembered them. This doesn’t happen in his life…anywhere.
Miss Connie has decided that she also wants to try YES this year. The PI cringes at the thought of putting an eight-year-old on a bus full of teenagers for that first trip, but she’ll have her big brother to keep an eye on her. NOT…
After Vincent spent a few hours on homework yesterday, the family piled into the car and headed to CRAFT DAY. His shocking suggestion that, “Craft Day is the best day of the year,” helped get the group moving on a really ugly day. Enthusiasm about doing things with the family is not his strong point these days.
Craft Day is a very special Saturday that happens once each year in a vacant storefront located next to a monstrous toy store in a mall in Woburn. The scene offers quite a contrast to the “Buy me, or be hated by your children!” ambiance next door.
On that day, the store fills up with food, smiles, hugs and craft materials of all sorts. People come from around Greater Boston to make wreaths, gingerbread houses, holiday decorations and all sorts of other craft items. Most of all, they talk, see people that they may not have seen since last year and, in general, build community. The event is a gift to her community by a woman who has offered her energy and resources to innumerable good things in Greater Boston and beyond over the past four decades.
A grumpy PI didn’t really want to go to Craft Day this year, but he followed young instincts and was happy to have done so. After four hours of good times and community, they headed back into the snow with the usual assortment of stamped gift cards, Christmas tree ornaments, gifts bearing the human touch and several pieces of citrus fruit perforated with hundreds of cloves (since it requires so little artistic talent, this is the PI’s speciality). The house smells better for the experience, and even the local Grinch is a bit more in the spirit of the season…whatever that is.