Monday, July 07, 2008

Dans le foret et la mer, or Ode to Carrie

Spent the weekend camping with an old, dear friend and her family this weekend. Aside from the midnight crying baby (ours), it was time extremely well-spent. Our parenting styles are very similar, our kids get along like they've known each other all their lives, and it made for a weekend of fun.

My friend is fluent in ASL and teaches Cued speech to transliterators. She has inspired me to pick up the pace with signing with my little one. We saw crows all over the place, and he picked up "black bird" today. He's smart, have I mentioned that?

Just as I had been in 8th grade, I am again in awe of my friend's internal beauty and the peacefulness that she exudes. She is an amazing, calm, loving and peaceful mother, and her babes are two of the luckiest on earth.

I have teased her for the past 18+ months about the fact that whenever we see each other, her husband has been mysteriously absent. I called him her imaginary husband and when we invited her to our camping trip, I wondered if he would show or not. Perhaps he'd have to work, or maybe he really doesn't exist. On the phone, when we were planning our meals, she told me that she'd found a nice actor to portray him all weekend.

She found a great actor/husband. He fit right in. It's so nice to hang out with people who are so normal, so like us. They are smart and funny, basically they're better-looking, more accomplished, fitter versions of us. Really, what's not to love?

Our boys were granted pocketknife privelages over the weekend, and boy, did they ever think they were cool. We caught them using them in the woods a couple times, and I ended up revoking the privelages for a period, but they earned them back again after a while. Basic rules: carving your spear at the table = good; scratching your belly with your knife on the trail = bad.

We granted Fezzik a lot more freedom this weekend than we ever have. He was allowed to explore the woods with his buddy, out of sight of his parents. He did great, and I think we'll need to give him some more freedom in other facets of his life. I worry that I spend too much time envisioning my kids' tragic demises, and loosening the umbilical chord doesn't help. I know that I owe it to him to trust him with more freedom, but what about the other people, the ones I know I shouldn't trust? It's a dilemma that every parent faces. I hope I'll get through it. There are so many horrible things that happen every day. Maybe I should stop watching the news.

Exploring the tide pools was fun as usual. We got the honor of finding many sculpin under the larger rocks we overturned. The tides were unusually low on Saturday, and attached to the rocks where the sculpin were buried, there were hundreds of pretty yellow eggs. A few of them were hatching and we were able to watch a few tiny, wiggly fish hatchlings squiggle their way over the tops of their brothers and sisters. Amazing. Also spotted were lots of starfish, a few jellyfish, a moon snail egg casing, tons of crabs, chitons, a few hermit crabs, and various segmented worms. And, in terms of mammals, bats greeted us at the beach while we watched the fireworks on the 4th.

When it was time for our friends to leave, their precious and precocious little girl said "Mommy, I am not going to miss Fezzik when we leave." "Oh? Why not?" "Because, when his parents aren't looking, I am going to sneak him into our car and take him with us."

That's basically how I felt about their entire family.

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