Well, it's Halloween. Or Day of the Dead. Or both if you're in Ensenada.
Today different classes at the school made altars to the dead. They had to negotiate among themselves as to who would be honored by the altar. One class honored the husband of their teacher who died a year or so ago. Another honored the grandmother of one of the students who died last month. Another honored Walt Disney.
Theo is in fifth grade, and his class got into an argument that ended with the fifth grade being banned from participating. One girl suggested that they build the altar to her father, who died in a scuba diving accident when the girl was only ten months old. Several of the boys berated her for her suggestion, saying they never knew her father, and neither did she, so why suggest someone so silly. Of course the poor girl was beside herself in sadness, and cried, and the principal had to come in and tell the kids they were mean and hateful and did not deserve to participate. Some of the boys, especially, were non-plussed, though we are learning that a few (besides Theo) were more than a bit upset by the whole affair, thinking that these dominant, alpha-dog boys were really horrible.
But that was only a small glitch, in part because Theo swims between both fifth and fourth grade, and when he gets tired of one group, he can seek refuge in the other.
Tonight both boys were invited to Halloween parties. Nathan did not dress up for his (he's too mature now, of course, even though many of his classmates did put on costumes); Theo went to his party as a vampire.
So Laura and I had a few hours off. We asked the hosts of Nathan's party for a suggestion of where to go out for drinks and a light supper. They suggested a place called Ophelia', which was not too far away (though it took us a while to find it). Wonderful little restaurant. Ordered a nice bottle of wine from the local vineyards (we are living in the New Napa, after all). and an appetizer of scallop ceviche (wow) and an entrée of lasagna (comfort food). And a pear tart for dessert.
We had a very nice date. We talked about all manner of things, including how our lives are finally becoming more international in scope, what with Laura scheming about how to stay involved in this school even after she finishes the year, and what with my business probably expanding to serve clients in Hong Kong and South China.
Right now, I'm waiting for a parent to drop off Theo at the apartment; Nathan is still at his party, and Laura is drinking (more) wine with the parents at that party. It seems that every time the kids have parties, the parents hang out, too. So our social lives are pretty darned great down here. Everyone is über welcoming and friendly, and happy to pour the wine or open more beer.
Oh, and did I mention it was in the high 80s today? Delightful.
Here are some pics: