July 05, 2004

So my kids are off

to their second day of camp; which actually means back to school, as their camps are based in the schools. It is a small Yishuv.

Yesterday they went swimming; start this camp off right!!! A fifteen minute bus trip and then cool water and sunburns. When the day is hot enough that you can put your dinner out at three and have it cooked for you by five, water is good. Water is very, very good.

They also went and visited another Yishuv which was having some kind of something over there. I'm not exactly sure what it was as I was working; a good friend took them. But they got cotton candy, always nice, and got to bounce on bouncy balls and see another parcel of land and meet new people. They didn't get home till late, which of course meant dinner late, which of course meant bedtime late, which of course waking them was akin to waking hibernating bears. I have never tried to wake a hibernating bear before but it is not on my list of things to try just once in your life. I value my limbs. Luckily children are smaller than bears and have less claws.

Since my younger daughter's camp is on the way to my older daughter's camp we parents have decided that said older child would accompany said younger child up the hill and save us old fogeys a trip. Daughter (10) is so very excited and happy about her new job of escorting younger sister to and from camp that we decided to make this a permanent responsibility. We also plan to sleep at night with one eye open.

Ten year old girls are fun. They are just starting that period when they can't decide if they are kids or big people. Mostly they still are kids; but they are getting there, and sometimes they aren't sure they want to be there. And those hormones are cooking! She can go from sweet and wonderful to mean in 1/2 second flat. (sigh) Soon it will be time to be hated by a superior being once again. I've been through this with one daughter, I'm really not looking forward to it, but I am prepared; my emotional armor is prepared and I want take her anger as hard as I did with the first one.

That was hard; my oldest is a wonderful person, but for about 12 years I was so loved up by her that when she switched to hating me, well it was hard. Intellectually I knew what was going on, but emotionally? Like everything else about parenting there is knowing and there is knowing, and I didn't really know. And because I really didn't know, I did a lot of things wrong; mainly letting it get to me. Letting it get to me meant I would try and be her best friend and then try and be her mom again and it just didn't work. Leting it get to me meant my nights were spent sometimes going over and over the day and wondering what I did wrong, why she hated me, how I could win back her love.

Her love was always there of course, but it was hidden by her attempts to free herself to be someone of her own making; someone she saw through her own eyes. A hard time on her too, because what she really needed was a mom who was stronger than she was and I messed up with that.

So we struggled; and we got past this. She is now an adult; beautiful, smart and self-sufficient. She does much better at life than I could at her age, and I am very proud of her.

All my kids are growing up and going off into the world. Soon my oldest son, the second born, will be in the army. Scares the hell out of me of course, but this was his choice to go ahead and do this and not return to the US. He's been trying to get himself in shape so when confronted by angry faced men screaming at him to run faster, he will shine.

Smart kid.

I am blessed.

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