While home schooling demands an ever-changing recipe of spontaneity and routine, one regular feature of almost every day is Trinity’s online curriculum. So when we recently changed our phone and Internet plans—and AT&T mistakenly upgraded our neighbor’s line instead of our own—we were left with not only no Internet service but with no access to Trinity’s lessons.
On the one hand, thanks to the proliferation of Wi-Fi in Culver City, I knew that this home school “snow day” could be easily averted by a trip downtown. On the other hand, the odds that Ashton could sit quietly in public while Trinity did math and history lessons were extremely small to nonexistent. Fortunately, my husband had the afternoon free, so the whole family headed downtown to find a café and some wide open space on one particularly beautiful afternoon.
While father and son hit , Trinity and I settled in at , where a strawberry Fanta, some delicious chocolate croissants and a decaf espresso accompanied our much needed Wi-Fi time. Once lessons were done, I bought a baguette for the kids and the family reconvened at City Hall.
While Brian and I plotted our next move, the kids played tag and sucked nectar from the base of flowers. They played hide and seek and marveled at the birds of paradise. Pulling long reeds from the pampas grass, Trinity amassed a quiver of arrows and Ashton a handful of spears, so they could pretend to be “legendary Indian warriors.”
As the afternoon slipped away and the kids continued to run around the expansive courtyard, we realized there was no next move to plot. There was nowhere to go and nothing more to do. Instead, we realized, we could enjoy the luxury of just being there. Slowing down, we took in the inspirational quotes engraved on the stone walls of artist Barbara McCarren’s “Quotation Courtyard" and delighted in the aquatic animals submerged in the fountain of May Sun’s “La Ballona.”
In our pre-kid days, Brian and I would have headed to a nearby restaurant for an impromptu meal. Instead, we headed to s to pick up something that could be quickly—and comfortably—prepared at home. On our way there, as the sky dimmed and the springtime fragrances became more pronounced, it seemed as if we stopped to smell every flower.
Parents farther down the road than we are frequently remind us to enjoy these times because they slip away so quickly. On this one spring evening, it felt as if we really did.