PRATIE PLACE

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Menticia at Maple View Farm

What a great time I had on Saturday. I took Menticia to the first-ever unofficial meeting of the fifth-grade mentees and their mentors. It was held at the lovely Maple View Farm on Dairyland Road.



Maple View Farm has its own ice cream store right on the premises, so you don't have to pay tax! And you can eat the delicious ice cream, made on the premises from the milk of the very cows you can watch eating their very own grass as you eat your very own sundae. They make the best whipped cream west of Vienna, Austria. You can buy hormone-free milk there, too, in recyclable bottles. Highly recommended.

We've been wanting to get our kids together for almost a year but this was the first time we managed it. Well, the kids did not "bond" as we thought they might - they mostly sat in the rockers and ate their ice cream - but we grownups had a good time brainstorming future activities.

So this is the moment I enjoyed most: I asked Menticia if she knew any of these kids and she reluctantly allowed as how she knew one, who has the unfortunately-spelled name of Natoshia.

Me: "Do you like her?"
Her: "Well." (Unenthusiastic pause)
Me: "Is there a problem?"
Her: "Well, I liked her in fourth grade but this year she was mean." (Pause) "... but then we talked to her about it, and told her to stop being mean."
Me: "Did she stop being mean?"
Her: (Pause) "Yes."
Me: "Well then, so she's nice now?"
Her: (Pause) (Wonderingly) "Yes."


She gave a re-evaluating look to Natoshia. I drew Natoshia's mentor aside for a conversation and Natoshia and Menticia started talking. The next thing we knew, they were bouncing over and suggesting that we all go to the State Fair together when it opens. I find this a magnificent idea, as the Very Idea of going on those whirling rides Menticia loves so much makes me want to hurl. Nausea R Us. So if we went as a foursome I could stay on dry land and avert my eyes during whirling episodes.

So then I told young Natoshia and "Crazy Val" her mentor (who turns out to be a minor celebrity, past owner of another local ice cream shop, and who subsequently told me her secret of making magnificent chocolate ice cream) that Menticia and I were going to see Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" at 5:25 - so they decided to come too, and the movie was great, and then we all got pizza at Pop's Pizzeria.

That's a great thing about being a mentor - you get to go see "Corpse Bride" - I'd have felt pretty self-conscious seeing it otherwise. (On the downside, I got wheedled into seeing "SpongeBob Square Pants" a few months ago and I still feel queasy thinking about it.)

If you'd like to be a mentor call Graig Mayer at the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate Program. They do training sessions in October (ie this month) and March.

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