As Usual

July 21, 2014 § 9 Comments

Basket making

Basket making

Nate took the boys on a five-day wilderness canoe-camping and fishing trip a couple hours north of Montreal. Fin and Rye are 12 and 9, respectively, and they went unhesitatingly, excitedly. They have never before been away from us for more than 24 hours. They will have no contact with us before their return. They will live in a wall tent and eat what they catch and probably not see another human until they emerge from the wild.

Penny and I watched them pull out the driveway yesterday morning, shed a few inevitable tears, and then did what I presume any long-married couple would do when suddenly liberated from their children: Lugged the carcass of the pig we’d killed the day prior into the kitchen and took up our knives. It was a welcome distraction.

I hear parents talk about “letting go” of their children. I may even have used such language before. But don’t kid yourself: We’re not letting go of them. They’re letting go of us.

As usual, we only think we’re in control.

§ 9 Responses to As Usual

  • Kris says:

    Yes, they are letting go of you. And you should be proud. They will be self-sufficient, independent young men when they hit adulthood, not like so many young people who don’t have a clue how to take care of themselves. For what it’s worth, DH and I have both cried as our children became adults and left home: the first to the Marine Corps, the next two to college (and the fourth and final one will leave for college in 2015). Not because we didn’t want them to go, but because as each moved on to the next phase of life it hit us that *they* were leaving *us*; they were ready to take care of themselves and no longer small children dependent on their parents. It is a victory, but also a bittersweet moment in a parent’s life.

  • Peter H says:

    We do?

  • Heidi says:

    Simply put, yet total truth! :)

  • Kent says:

    Your boys should have one hell of a “show ‘n tell” to share upon their return. (I would love to ask them “what did you miss most?) This IS one “monumental moment” for them (AND you)!

    • Eumaeus says:

      @ 2, 5 & 8 years old, we’re not close to giving permission for this sort of thing, but I will thank you for putting Princess Elsa’s theme song in my head… Yes, pop culture reference. As a writer, don’t you need to maintain some sort of pop culture umbilical, or not? Do you just let all the game of thrones and hose of card references slide into pork belly oblivion? Hope you two have fun sans wildlings

  • Eumaeus says:

    Oops didn’t mean to reply to uncle kent there. Sorry

  • ncfarmchick says:

    I tear up just thinking about the day when my boys will go off on their own adventures without us. One of those times when just because it’s the way things should be doesn’t make it easy. The real success will be when they are adults and choose to be in your company rather than just tolerate your presence. I don’t know what I would do without my boys around but can imagine a nap would be involved. Hope you and the Mrs. enjoy your time together as much as I’m sure your boys will enjoy theirs.

  • reneeliamrhys says:

    What an awesome adventure for the boys. Our Grandsons would LOVE to go. They’ve been kayaking on a lake but always a responsible adult around. Fishing too they love. Very clever boys you have taught making their own baskets.
    Ah yes, the stages of growing up and as they get older the gradual leaving to fend for themselves. It is the cycle of life.
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

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