Sunday, November 27, 2016

El Dia de los Muertos

Jason and I are house hunting right now, which is, frankly, rather hard.

The truth is, I really like our rental.  While it may have been taken some adjustment at first, I've come to love our cozy home with the big kitchen, oversized garage, and hot tub.  Even though I know there are many strong reasons to purchase a house, a large part of me doesn't want to move at all.  No matter where we go, it just won't be the same.

Of course it won't.  Change is inherently hard.  However, along with the loss, we often discover new gems that are distinct and wonderful in their own way. 

Schools have been a pretty good example.  It's no secret that I was heartbroken to leave our beloved Crestridge elementary school with its amazing staff and principal.  In moving to Salt Lake, I felt pretty skeptical about Emerson Elementary, even after our children were enrolled.  I knew I would miss so much, like Crestridge's focus on international studies, their amazing art teacher, and the thriving music program.

It's true.  I do miss those things--all of them.  I miss smaller things too, like our International Dinners, Spanish Chat, and Mileage Club.  However, instead of lamenting what is missing, I'm learning to better appreciate Emerson for its own unique programs.  It may not be a magnet school for global studies, but my children are truly loving the Extended Learning Program.  There may not be a Mileage Club, but my kids enjoy picking fresh produce through their garden program.  Emerson might not host an international dinner, but wowzers, do they ever know how to celebrate El Dia de los Muertos!

While the Day of the Dead might seem pretty dark for an elementary school, it's actually an amazingly upbeat and colorful celebration.  I love how the school has used this event to draw together the community across cultural lines.  It feels like we got to celebrate twice--both at the actual event and at the prep party.  Annika was delighted to let the fifth and sixth graders use her face as practice for painting skulls.

Here she is posing again in front of the rows of sugar candy skulls they were molding.

Eli helped with some of the coloring...

...before taking a break to eat some posole. 

Here's Talia with her adorable friend, Karsyn.  Before Talia got braces, their teacher sometimes had trouble telling them apart.  Not hard to see why!

The prep party was so well-attended that I wondered how they would beat it for the actual event.  I guess I shouldn't have doubted!  The entire community came out for all sorts of crafts, music, dancing, and even free food from local vendors. 

Brooklyn's class made this altar display in honor of the recently deceased Gene Wilder--the original Willie Wonka.

Eli's class decorated skulls, and Talia wrote a beautiful story about Uncle Jay.

As for me, I loved seeing Emerson's halls filled with so much color.  One of my biggest complaints about the school has been how drab and lifeless the hallways seem.  Instead of making them more depressing, the Day of the Dead transformed them into beautiful and vivacious spaces.

Here are some of the traditional dancers...

...and here's Brooklyn enjoying her sugar candy skull.

Scariest sight all night was Eli's face after eating his skull.

Talia and Karsyn decorating their skeletons...

...and Brooklyn decorating my face.

Back to the original topic of change: whether it's schools, homes, or people, it's never a good idea to compare because things won't be the same:
Sometimes they are better.

1 comment:

Crys said...

Brooklyn looks so mature now! Where is the time going????