Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spirit Week

At Odyssey Prepatory Academy, this week is all about spirit. Yesterday was Hero Day - come to school dressed as your favorite hero. Jillian wanted to be Word Girl from the PBS series of the same name but unfortunately, Nathan could not find his cape and her idea of wearing her underwear on the outside of her shorts was veto-ed. So, no superhero. Chloe and Nathan weren't interested in participating in Hero Day. Today is a different story. We're been planning for Crazy Sock and Crazy Hair day for weeks. These are the results of our planning. Jillian is Pippy Longstocking -- or, in her words, Hippie Lockingston. She simply cannot get that poor girl's name right. Chloe's head ended up looking like a soccer ball. She was thrilled with the results. She has 9 ponytails, all with different colored rubber bands.  They are both wearing crazy socks, too although you can't tell by these pictures. Chloe is sporting her tall, fuzzy purple striped socks that were a gift from one of the nurses when she had her appendix taken out. Jillian is wearing the yellow pair of socks that we tye-dyed especially for this occassion. Yellow is her new favorite color.

Nathan was much more hesitant to participate... His hair is getting long and he is in need of a haircut so my proposition was that we shave the sides of his head, like we're going to anyway when he gets a haircut, but leave the middle portion long so that he can have a mohawk for just one day. Or, we could just gel out all his long hair so that he has a 'fro going on.... Neither of these ideas were acceptable and in fact, he looked at me like I suggested he go to school in a dress. Up until the last minute, I was trying to convince him that it is okay to look silly in the name of school spirit. He wasn't having anything to do with the idea. Lowell even got on board and encouraged him, to no avail. In the end, he went to school with normal hair but wearing my black striped socks. I will celebrate small victories, I suppose. :) 

When we got to school and the kids were waiting to get out of the car, Chloe started getting nervous, wondering if she was going to be the only one in her class with crazy hair. She was very relieved when we saw some of the other students walking to class with even crazier, more outrageous hairstyles.

I have a very different view of spirit week as a mother than I did as a student. I appreciate that, in a school where the dress code is VERY strict, they allow the students the freedom to be expressive on these days. They still have to wear their uniform, but at least they can accessorize 4 days out of the year. Also, I like how my children are learning to be individuals and to not be afraid of expressing themselves. I like that they are learning to take risks without knowing if they will be accepted by their peers, and that, at least my girls, are okay with standing out and being different. I am hoping that they are learning to be leaders -- leaders that can encourage their fellow students to be involved in appropriate, safe, fun activities instead of those that are against the rules or those that detract from their educational experiences.
I was very impressed with Lowell last night when he was talking to Nathan about having school spirit. Lowell was not one to get involved in these types of things when he was growing up and he openly admits it. But last night, he shared with the kids that he believes he would be better at dealing with people, making friends, and being in crowds, if he learned early to be part of a group - to be part of the student body. I was really surprised and very pleased that he took the time to share his experiences. I think his input may have been what got Nathan into my socks this morning. So, thanks Daddy -- we love you!

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