June 8, 2009

Monday Inpiration #13: Gypsy Child

I had a highly unconventional childhood. I was home schooled and basically allowed to run a-muck at will (not that I didn't actually do any school work, I did). My mom has always believed that education is more valued when it's something you're interested in, which led her towards a more unschooling aesthetic. If we were interested in something, we learned about it. Yes we had to learn the basics at some point, but mostly this was how my childhood went. All my siblings and I were allowed to cultivate our own personalities, and identities, as well as imaginations. We lived with my grandparents when I was little, who had a very large open field behind their house. In the summer it was always dry and hot out there with gross dying weeds, but in the winter there was tall grass and dandelions which you could hide in and watch the clouds float by. My grandfather is a pastor and we lived in the "parish". Up at the church there were tall stacks of rock formations (they were mostly fake rocks, but we didn't really know that), that we used as a jungle gym. There were three caves one of which was covered by a tree (which I later discovered a family of rattlesnakes in). These made perfect settings for a multitude of games, including my favourite from ages 6-9: Russian Maiden (I'm not even joking about that. I wore a bandanna on my head tied under my chin, a red dress, a white apron and my rainboots since I didn't have the appropriate granny boots. Everyday, for three years. I loved that game and it always ended with me falling in love with some wealthy and handsome prince. Yes I was quite impressionable as a child).
Some people have said my parents were strict (which they weren't and never have been and I've never understood that), but really they just had their own ideas about life and child rearing. They were just bohemians. And I am a Gypsy Child.
I always remember long summers in the field right before summer. It's not that I long for those same days again, just that I look back with fondness at how free and beautiful they were.

If I ever have children, you may expect that they too, will spend most of their days playing whatever nonsensical game in the yard, and enjoying their childhood the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Every one's got finals this week, save me, so I'm covering everyone. I'll be in the office from 9-5 every day this week. My parents leave for Seattle on Thursday (my mom was told last night), so Bri, Chel and I are dividing up duties. Bri's got finals all the way up to Friday. Then Saturday we're having a "School is over, summer is here" Shindig at my house with some friends. I may not be around that much this next week, or I might be writing more than normal, either way accept my advanced apologies.
One year 18 days


  1. you have a way with words - your childhood sounds nicely romanticized. I wasn't a free-child, but my parents weren't strict either. I do remember bathing naked with my family in some river high in the Norwegian hills - and every summer we would take to our boat (I basically grew up on one - but most of the time we were just "us" - fucking crazy-ass nutters, if you ask me. Le shrug.

  2. Sounds like a lovely upbringing, now i feel like playing in a field!!

  3. This is so exciting. Ha, it looks like you had a kind of 60's upbringing.
    My childhood was an odd mix of Japanese -structuered reading and writing, music lessons, my parents showing me carefully selected movies so that I would develop a proper accent--they are both from other places--and conversing with vegetation.