My apologies for the delay in an update on here. I did hear that one of our little ones learned of Journey because of it though… so, that’s not so bad. Apparently, she also performed a ballet to Don’t Stop Believing and deemed the song cool. Crossing generations, Steve Perry. Crossing generations. He reads this, right?
Guess where this blog is being written. Go ahead guess. I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count. Yep… Piper. We’re officially open. Record time. Internet is up. Lights installed. We got our Temporary Certificate of Occupancy two days ago. Teachers are setting up the rooms. Some parents couldn’t contain themselves and have been stopping by for quick little tours. We’re even getting some little ones excited to see their new school. This morning, I was sitting the Parenting room and heard a little voice say, “Is anybody home?” Just a neighbor and his curious boy scootering around the block. Showed them around, played with a few toys, talked insurance (that’s what he does), and sent them on their way. Pretty adorable kid with his little scooter helmet… which never came off on the tour. Very polite little guy, too.
Licensing comes out on Wednesday. Lots of hoops to jump through with the City and State so far. It’s all in the name of safety, but it’s also all in the name of my left neck muscles tightening sooner and sooner each day. Eyes on the prize. The clouds are lifting. All passes came with at least 17 or 18 seconds of concerns and stomach-in-the-throat anticipation. Little things we need to finish up like signage, some patching, handrails, etc. The inspector that did our Fire Life Safety was the same guy who did the licensing for Cassidy way back in 2009. He doesn’t really do these anymore, but came out because of us. He also set off several alarms at 6:30am… sorry neighbors. Super good guy. Integral in getting us opened up so fast, too. Thanks Brad. He reads this, right?
We’ll be opening up the South building immediately while we work to get the North building completed. We still have some paint, flooring, and appliances to install. South building is looking pretty amazing though. Doing a power-wash today on the building and the parking lot. Flushing out the construction air over the next couple of days inside. Have a real hunky window cleaner, that all the teachers seems to admire (even Jayson), cleaning up our 87 floor-to-ceiling windows. They’ve even requested maybe he clean our windows once a week. I’m fully expecting them to be unusually dirty in certain rooms. Starting to look like a real school. It’s been looking like either a vanilla insurance office and/or a disaster zone for far too long… kinda the same thing. Now, little potties are in every room, cool lights are hung, furniture is placed, toys are out of boxes, rugs are down, couches are out, far less construction obscenities uttered, and it feels like home.
I personally don’t like biting bullets. I’d rather figure something else out. Two weeks ago a bullet was bitten. It was a very emotional day for me when I found out that we couldn’t run our preschool software on a Mac. I didn’t talk for hours. Said bullet? HP… I think. I don’t even know. I couldn’t watch. Not to worry, we’ll keep it far out of sight and no closer than 50 feet from the little Pipers. Blech. Apple Fanboy? Yeah, what of it?
Our rock-climbing wall went up yesterday. We’re even thinking about… wait, whaaaaaat? We have a rock-climbing wall? Sure do. And it’s amazing. It goes up to the 3rd floor roof and will have professional belayers on staff to scare your kids into being confident, independent little adrenaline junkies. Red Bull hats and drinks provided for free… we’re sponsored. Parenting Program is getting one, too. Bring on the 6 month old rock climbers. We’re just using old dog collars for their harness since they don’t make them in “baby” size. Should be fine. That one only goes to 12 feet high… no Red Bull schwag either… they gotta earn that.
Sand is going in the sandboxes today. Never would have guess how labor intensive that is. I can see them from my shaded, cushy couch as I type in a temperature controlled environment. Listen, I have things to do. If you didn’t hear already, we have a dry arroyo running through the center of our playground. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either. It’s a river… yeah, like a real river… for boats and Army men and fireworks and what will probably amount to around 45 pounds of sand per day.
Here’s a fun fact: Our website has a few Easter Eggs on it. Find them, tell me where and what they are, and I’ll figure out a prize for the winner. Granted, this involves you having too much time on your hands and/or a proficiency for source coding, but I’ll honor your methods either way. For those of you confused by reading this paragraph, Easter Eggs are hidden links and messages. Have fun.
Hearing from a lot of parents that Mommy Blogs are recommending us. We’re not even in session yet, so that’s pretty amazing to hear. That feels really good to know the bloggers are behind us, too. So, thank you. It takes a village and it’s been a village that has made this happen. Big thank you to the community… all of you… and I mean ALL of you.
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Add us on SnapChat. Mark your calendars for February 27th. We’re hosting an Open House that night. I’ll be publishing a page on here to RSVP. You will HAVE to RSVP to get in. It’s only $250 per couple. Juice and animal crackers will be provided… just kidding, it’s free… and we might have wine and cheese… and egg-head music. Black tie only, though.
Tours are booked into March right now, so email Helen if you wanna stop by and see what’s going on. We’re accepting enrollment for our soft opening (now through July) and our official opening (September 2014). There are still open spots for Enrichment, Kindergarten Readiness, and our Accelerated Free Fall Skydiving-for-Toddlers Class.
I’ve been listening to Willie Nelson Pandora a lot lately. It always reminds me of my family growing up. That station plays a lot of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, and Merle Haggard. The other day I was driving down through Santa Monica and saw a man sitting on a bus bench shaking a can of change. As I pulled up to the light, he was in perfect rhythm without hearing my stereo. Just as I noticed what was going on and it clicked in, Waylon sang, “Don’t think twice, it’s all right.” It’s kinda hard to convey what made me settle into that feeling, but at that exact moment, I knew we were okay. Building Piper has been anything but easy. It’s been anything but smooth. While it’s been super challenging on many fronts, it’s also been undeniably rewarding. It’s been a labor of love and a labor for a better life. Having our doors open now is something that I knew would come, but never realized how great it would feel. For all of you watching from the sidelines and supporting our efforts, a big thank you from all of us. Again and again, you all are amazing. No matter how you fit into our puzzle, you’ve made Piper what it is today.
About a week and a half ago I met one of our neighbors. His apartment is right over the parking lot across the street. Every morning, I’d see him standing out there having a look at everyone before they started their day. Every once in a while I’d see him at our gate looking around the playground, chatting it up with the subs. I happened to be out there one day when he was there. He smiled at me and told me he’d been helping keep our guys in line. We talked for about 45 minutes. His name is Hal. He’s 92. We talked about everything… life, love, houses, the military, kids, business, motorcycles, cars, and everything in between. I asked him how he did it. How had he lived so long. “I guess some of it’s genes, but it’s probably mostly because I never worried about anything. I never stressed.” He went on to tell me that nothing’s so important that you can’t be happy. Nothing is so overbearing that you can’t just move on. That’s a good life no matter how long you live. That’s a good attitude no matter what is happening to you. Worrying just shortens your time. Even more, worrying about the things you can’t control will inevitably end up hollowing you out. Here’s to less worry. Life can be long. Life can be hard. Life can also be pretty amazing. Here’s to Hal. Don’t stop.