Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Tomorrow Miss Pink leaves for camp.

This is not the first time she's been away from home--she's been to several two-night Girl Scout camping adventures without me, and last week she stayed at her cousins' in another state for four nights before seeing us. For some reason, though, this feels different for me.

I've never been a clingy mother. Mostly because Miss Pink wouldn't let me be one. On her first day of kindergarten, she was so excited that not only were we there before any of the other kids, but we were also there before the teacher. The student teacher was there, and she showed Miss P her seat and gave her something to play with. I hovered in the background, holding Mr. Blue, wondering what my role was. Shouldn't I be at least misty-eyed that my first-born baby was starting kindergarten?

I thought I'd stay until some other kids and parents--or at least the teacher--arrived. But Miss Pink had other ideas. Without looking up she said, "You can go, Mom."

"Really? You're sure you want me to go? Because I could stay a little--"

"No, I'm fine. You can go."

At least she let me hug her! I left, feeling a little confused, but not distraught. I knew she'd be fine--after all, she'd told me so herself--and she was.

It's not that she's unattached to us (somehow I feel I need to add that disclaimer--but is it only to protest that I'm not a bad mother?) When we're together, we snuggle and giggle and talk about all kinds of things. I'm pretty sure she tells me all her secrets (the child has a transparent face, like me and her father, thank goodness). It's just that when she's ready to go, she's ready. Last year she wasn't ready for camp. This year, she says she is.

And I believe her. I just don't know if I am. Because before I know it, she's going to be ready to fly farther away, to places I've never been. And all I can do is promise that she can always come home until she's ready to fly again.

Last week, Justin and I called her on her second night away. She talked to us in a distracted way ("What are you doing?" "Talking to you." *giggle*) and after about five minutes, she said very politely, "Mom and Dad, could you please hang up now, 'cause I really want to go play." What could we say but "Okay, bye, we love you!" as fast as we could before she hung up?

Even when we arrived, she was still engrossed with her cousin and the eight kittens the girls had been playing with all week. Yet when we came home, I hugged her before bedtime and told her I'd missed her. She hugged me back and whispered, "I was a tiny bit homesick." Well, you certainly fooled me, kiddo, but that's good to know.

Sometimes I think that parenting is all about spending the first years of our children's' lives creating a safe place so they will feel secure, yet the irony is that the purpose of the security is to allow them to develop an independent spirit so they can venture out into the world without us. As parents, our job is to work ourselves out of a job. Miss Pink may be making this task a little too easy for my taste, but I know she still needs me to be here when she returns to tell me all about her adventures.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Must-See TV?

When the school year ended, I used some rewards points to get an Amazon gift card. I ended up using most of it for kids' books, but I also got myself a journal I've had on my wish list for some time.

I've been wanting to journal again and I love to make lists, but thought some prompts might help me come up with something worth reading, and maybe provide blog fodder as well.

Some of the lists won't work for the blog. Things like "List the places you have lived"--if you don't live here, the place names won't mean anything to you, and I'd rather not let any stalker-types know exactly where I live. Plus the list wasn't that interesting.

Or "List the strangest places you've had sex." Um, no thank you. Since this is a journal (and a blog) my children (or even my grandchildren--eek!) might read someday, I don't believe I'll be doing that.


Today I answered this prompt: "List your favorite TV shows of all time."

When I started thinking about it, I realized that there are very few shows I used to love that I still enjoy. When I'm done with a TV show, I'm DONE. It is dead to me (apparently). So here are the very few shows I have watched for a number of years and have not tired of (yet).But it could happen. So WATCH YOURSELVES, TV writers.

  • I love "What Not to Wear" and have for years. Even though I know all their advice by heart.
  • "The Soup" never fails to make me laugh.
  • We still watch "CSI: NY" although it's already iffy for me and if Gary Sinise leaves, so will I.
  • "Looney Tunes" with Bugs Bunny and company are my favorite cartoons of all time.
  • I don't actually watch these any more since I've seen every episode and sometimes more than once, but I still think "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Seinfeld" are funny.
Maybe I should have listed "Shows I Have Watched For Multiple Seasons and Then Gave Up On."
  • "American Idol." I KNOW. But it was tempting to be watching what everyone else was watching. But then Simon left...and I realized I was only watching to see what he was going to say. Plus it was taking up too much of my time, even with a DVR.
  • "Lost." I realized during the second season that the writers were just making mysterious crap up and that there wasn't going to be a satisfying explanation at the end. I think I was right to stop watching.
  • "Alias." How many times could there be a secret organization bent on destroying the world if it gets its hands on mystical artifact unless Jennifer Garner gets dressed up in a hot outfit and kicks some butt? 
  • "Heroes." Again with the convoluted plot which was cool at first, what with all the secret identities and double-crossing, but then just disintegrated into senselessness.
  •  Back in the mid-90's, I was glued to my couch on Thursday nights for NBC's "Must See TV,"  especially "Friends" and "ER." I didn't follow either series to its finale.
So, basically, I'm not very loyal when it comes to TV shows. I don't even want to watch my favorite episodes more than twice (I feel the same way about most movies, which is why we don't own many DVDs). I realized that this is very different from the way I feel about my favorite books. I've read some of my favorite books ten times. I think it has something to do with the difference between actively using my imagination to revisit a fictional place or an idea, and passively watching an idea brought to life on the screen. I know this isn't true for everyone, but it seems to be the case for me.

Anyone got some shows that have stood the test of time for you?