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Archive for June, 2012

Fledgling

Yesterday, I walked right past a baby robin, perched on the garden flag, keeping perfectly still.  My husband noticed it, sitting there trying not to be seen, and pointed it out to me.  We decided that with two cats and a dog in the yard, it might be a bad idea to call attention to it, and so we went on about our merry business.  A few minutes later, we heard it hopping about in the azalea bushes, which also attracted the attention of one cat and the dog.  The one cat moved to make a quick snack of it, while at the same time the dog came from the other direction to see what all the racket was.  My husband was able to reach the bird in time, and with a little encouragement and a whole lot of fear, that baby bird did what God had designed it to do — fly.  I watched and applauded as it gained lift over the back yard, with the dog in hot pursuit, and cleared the privacy fence.

And so it is with Spawn.

My mother and I drove down to camp on Friday and picked Spawn up.  As much as I ardently and fervently hoped that Spawn would enjoy camp, I was a bit nervous about what kind of experience the kid had had.  Turns out, I needn’t have worried quite so much.  The kid had an amazing time at camp.  And wants to go back next year.

Score one for budding independence.

Spawn is exhausted, of course, but the experience was a good one and the kid wants to make sure we sign up for two weeks of camp next year.  I’ve already washed the camp sheets and towels and stored them away for next time.  We’re shopping around for an inexpensive digital camera, too.

This could be the start of something wonderful.

 

— Mox

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I hate that word, staycation.  It’s so, I don’t know, cutesy?  Made-upsy?

Anyway.  I’m having one.

Spawn is away at church camp, and has been all week.  My husband and I have had to figure out how to behave like childless people again.  It’s been too long.

Dinner at the bar!  Woo!

I cannot tell you how refreshing it’s been to not have to live my life according to Spawn’s schedule this week.  No tutoring, no taekwondo, no doctor appointments… not even a trip out to the grandparents’ house.  I’ve had time to read a few magazines (seriously, six months of Smithsonian), clear out all the old catalogs, throw away stuff that Spawn’s been hoarding for no good reason, plant my garden… And when it’s just me to get out the door and get to work, without a detour to wherever to drop Spawn off, I can actually make myself a rather yummy three-egg omelet for breakfast every morning.

A gift, my friends, a gift of time.

I know someday I will look back on these years of active parenting and yearn for them. But a week off is nice, too.  Too bad camp doesn’t last for two weeks.  I could use another week of catching up on things around here.

The camp has a Facebook page, and they’ve been posting photos of the kids all week.  Every batch they post, I’m obsessively looking for Spawn in the group.  Sometimes the kid is there, and sometimes not.  And when the kid is there, I examine the photo very closely to see body language and facial expressions, and in general wonder if the kid is having a great time.  Because I want the kid to have a great time.  And to go back next year, and every year.  Because I never got the chance to go off to sleep-away camp when I was a kid.  Why?  Because my parents wouldn’t let me out of their sight.

I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about letting Spawn go off to camp, what with me having no practical experience with it myself.  But my husband, who is one of five children, had no qualms.  And the first night Spawn was away, I didn’t sleep too well, wondering/worrying that Spawn was homesick.  And now that I’ve had a few days to adjust to it, I’m mostly okay about it, other than fervently hoping the kid is loving the experience.

I’ve had to make some deliberate decisions in the course of my parenting career that are in opposition to how my parents chose to raise me.  Mostly I’m pushing the kid to be independent a lot earlier than my parents did for me.  I want the kid to fly the nest and not be subject to the emotional blackmail I got to stick close to home.  Basically, I’m trying to not be as big a control freak as my mother.  Because where we live is Podunk and there is NOTHING here.  And that’s okay if you want to stay here, but if you have any desire to live elsewhere then you should be able to go without your mother pouting about it.

I’m just saying.

 

— Mox

 

 

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