Days at the Lakes

We said “hello” to the lake once again. Back in New Hampshire, I’m home again. This year’s visit to the White Mountains and the Lakes Region has its differences. We traveled nine hours today pulling MidLife Cri-seas. Getting up at 4:40 a.m. was no problem considering I spent the evening before watching the Phillies beat the snot out of those NY Mets. The best part was spending time with my brother. It was a great start to this fabulous time with family and friends that is ahead.

Back to this outstanding sunset I’m watching from the screened porch at our vacation house on Danforth Bay, a stretch of Lake Ossipee. We put the boat in the lake from the ramp at Camp Robin Hood, which was practically effortless (or at least Doug made it look that way).

After our first NH meal, getting the

Launching the boat at Camp Robin Hood - Doug & Adam

Sunset on Danforth Bay - Day 1

boat in the water up here is icing on the cake that Doug started last October when he bought the boat. To be up here with our own boat to spend hours exploring on the water and just hanging out has been the goal. We plan to take Adam and his fellow Saxons out for rides over the next couple of days.

For now, unpacking is nearly finished. I just watched a speedboat and water skier fly by on the water as the last of today’s sun dips behind Mount Mary across Danforth Bay. Time to watch more Phillies-Mets (Oh – I DID get an MLB-TV subscription so I don’t miss too much Phillies action.)

It Hurts Us More

When you have a child, the adage goes, “it hurts you more than it hurts your child.” that applies to everything from the common cold to your child’s first heartbreak. It doesn’t get any better as they get older.

Adam’s first semi-formal dance is this weekend. The weather people are calling for a snowstorm to hit Friday into Saturday morning. I can’t help but feel my anxiety level going up with wonder. Will the dance happen? If it does, will other students bail because of the weather? Will parents complain because the dance ISN’T postponed? Will the caterer show up? Will the DJ be able to get there? Hey – it’s NOT my event! Why am I so worried? It hurts me more than it hurts him. Being a young man, Adam lets things slide. If it doesn’t work out, he shrugs and moves on. While disappointment is certainly a part of life, it’s great to be able to limit or ward off those disappointments when you’re young.

What’s so frustrating about these winter storms is how absolutely gorgeous it is today. Mother Nature loves to give us the calm before the storm. This is a perfect winter day: crystal-clear, blue skies, a light wind and no hint of bad weather. Everywhere you look, online, on TV, the newspaper, the dire prediction is there: we’re in for a storm. Now that I haven’t been “working” the storms in a while in radio, they don’t bother me as much. I don’t dread the storms or worry about them. I generally embrace the storms. The December 20th storm that socked everyone in, sent Doug and I out into the winter wonderland for a ride from South Jersey to Northeast Philly to visit my parents. During a storm is the BEST time to food shop. While some supplies may be down because of all the bread-and-milk runs just before the storm, the aisles are empty, the staff is pleasant and you have nice, pleasant conversations with anyone you come in contact with. They’re nuts, just like you. Go ahead, take a ride – get your errands done. The only vehicles on the road are the brave few and the salt and plow trucks.

Here I am, embracing storms, but so concerned that my son and his friends will be disappointed if their dance is postponed. We picked up his suit this week; today he gets a haircut; I washed his new dress shirt so it’ll be comfortable to wear; I ordered the wristlet for his date and will pick it up Saturday. If Adam is concerned about the weather or a postponement, he’s not showing it. Of course, this is the young man, who with his father, camped out in sub-freezing weather last weekend, without a working bathroom at their campsite and of course, no hot shower for two nights.  (Ugh!)

When Adam was swaddled in a blanket in my arms, I worried when he spit up (and boy, was he a spitter. When he started getting ear infections after he went to nursery school, I felt his pain and discomfort. When he was bullied for the first time in elementary school, I wanted to throw myself in the line of fire and shake the shoulders of the boy doing this to ask, “WHY?” We learn our children have to learn on their own. It hurts us to see them fail, or be bullied or suffer a disappointment. In the end, we guide them, console them and let them know we are there to help.

I hope the dance happens and Adam and his friend enjoy the heck out of the event. I hope the snow doesn’t get in the way and everyone is safe and warm at the event. For now, I think I’ll make my food shopping list and try not to worry too much.

Adam went on his first date. Our 14-year old son, seemingly out of no where, deadpanned the other night,” I want to go to the movies with a friend Saturday night.” I deadpanned back at him, “What’s her name.”
While my husband videotaped what he and my son expected would be a freaked-out reaction, Adam stepped away from the dinner table. It was then I looked at my husband with that, “Oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-he’s-growing-up-so-fast” look. The shock settled into a warm, fuzzy emotion in realizing this day would come. I just didn’t believe Adam was in a place where a “date” was in the picture. What was even more shocking was Adam told us that night he had been “dating” the girl for (exactly) 16 days. He said they decided April 1st, they were “going out.”
Thinking back, I don’t know how much I told my parents about my early “dating” exploits. My husband and are happy Adam apparently felt comfortable telling us about his girlfriend. After meeting the young lady, I remarked to my husband that it seems we are raising him OK. (Big sigh, there.) We couldn’t help but think ahead to the inevitable “heartbreak.” To this day, I remember when my 6th grade boyfriend (I was mature for my age) dumped me. I honestly don’t remember the actually dumping, just the hysteria from me that followed and the big “ta-doo” is ingrained in my mind forever. After being surrounded by friends during recess that day, I was taken to Miss Cusack’s office at Rhawnhurst Elementary where I cried some more. Some how I got past Bobby and the dumping incident. There were many other times when I was the dumper and the dumpee, but somehow, when this happens to my son it’ll be different. I’m guessing a text message will be involved from one side or the other. But what will be the same will be tears.
For now, realizing our only child is on yet again, another journey I sit back and enjoy and learn from the experience. He’ll be 15 years old soon and as with any birthday comes another set of growing pains. We keep saying we’ll only have Adam around full time for a short while longer. Embracing each step along the way is a joy to behold in this thing we call parenthood.