last night, we had another light dusting of snow. it's winter in connecticut.....there's more where that came from. today was a beautiful, sunny and cold day today. lots of kids went back to school today, our kids had one more day! not that they needed one more day. we've had some outstanding vacation days and some very mellow days. overall, it was a good thing for us all to have a break from the grind of school hours and homework and social lives, on facebook and x box, ipods and real, live people.
having grace with mono for a big chunk of the school year added stress for us all. exhausted every morning and literally, dragging out of bed, in no mood for her mom, dad or brother to even think of the spoken word. it was a very trying period....we were beginning to think her behavior was what we would be encountering throughout all of her teen years! that was eve making us feel a bit whiny!
when biff and i saw the sunshine and blue sky this morning, we both had the same thought.....what a great day for skiing with grace and t.j.....let's go! it would be fun to do, for everyone to get a bit more confident on a smaller mountain....especially, after skiing some tougher trails in new hampshire last week. we gave the kids a little more time sleeping.....something our teens crave these days. after some time to plan out our day at a small, regional ski area, biff went upstairs to wake the kids. he was excited with our spontaneous idea and expected the same from them.
one thing for sure, with our teenagers, we have learned to expect the unexpected with grace and t.j. after a couple of cups of coffee and some discussion, we realized we could leave at 10:30 a.m....dressed and ready to ski with lift tickets....by noon, when the mountain opened. biff and i were delighted at the possibility. it would be great for the kids to have one more vacation day to ski...at a smaller mountain, in our area. after skiing last week in new hampshire, it would be good for everyone...good for our family time and certainly good to build everyone's confidence.
biff was up the stairs and ready to roll. his enthusiasm was contagious....our spontaneous idea would be received with whoops and cheers and maybe dancing through the halls!
we have learned in the past year or so, the only thing we can ean expect from our teens, is to expect the unexpected. they both looked up from under their puffy comforters and quilts and squishy pillows, and groaned, "no! please don't make us go." moaning sounds uttering words,, difficult to understand, "i need one more day to sleep. can't we o next weekend?"
even though their our own children, my husband and i look at each other, befuddled and confused, once again. we were beginning to doubt that the people inside of those voices were our children. from time to time, we look at each other and say,"who are these children. where did they come from?"
i could understand their reactions better, if maybe, we had woken them up to say it was time for a root canal......this was a gift....a treat.....pure fun and enjoyment...an opportunity. not in their minds. this was just one more moment of opportunity.....one of many.
my husband and i resigned ourselves to the fact that this was our dream.....this was our spontaneity....this was our fun....this was our money! biff and i changed gears. he was ready to get to his office. we said our goodbyes....still puzzled.....we just let go...we let go and decided to go with the flow. we chose to let them sleep in.
i walked at the beach with the two golden retrievers and a good friend, with her spaniel. we laughed together....about our vacations and our children. i talked about our morning. we both concur....in our wildest dreams, we would never have guessed that children would turn down such an offer.....a day of skiing....just because. we both laughed, because our kids just amaze us. we find ourselves saying things like, " can you believe it? i never would have turned down an offer like that!"......"when we were kids, we would have begged our parents to spend time with us."......."how did this happen? do kids today have so much that what we offer is just one more thing!"
i find myself quoting the song from the broadway show, "Bye bye, birdie"...."kids, what's the matter with kids today? why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way....what's the matter with kids today?" we walked and talked. we wondered. what have we done? we don't spoil our children....we offer lots of choices. we didn't have so many choices when we were kids. we just played outside....we ran down the street to find friends. we sat, bored. we didn't have such a mobile society. we didn't have "helicopter parents."....not that we think WE'RE helicopter parents. we want to let them go...go out on their own....we want them to explore more...we want them to enjoy their independence.
we keep walking and walking and walking. the sunny day is a top ten day of winter. we shrieked, because suddenly, as we walked along the shoreline, little waves crashed into us.....waves with slushy ice, crash into us.....as we walked and talked, the tide was coming in.
that's how my husband and i felt this morning.......like we were walking along the shore that we was so familiar yet we are still surprised that we sometimes get wet....today was a real surprise. a surprise that our kids just didn't care about skiing....just like having SLUSH in the water.
the funny thing is.....we think we do have kids that are grateful. we think they are really great kids. they are kind and loving and sensitive and respectful.....most of the time. the funny thing is.....i don't even think they know what an opportunity it was. the funny thing is....i think that this is a generation that has so much, they don't really know opportunity. the funny thing is.....i know they were tired, but too tired to jump up and ski. the funny thing is......my friend has had many of the same moments.
go skiing. get sleep. maybe if i was a teen today, i would make the same choice. maybe i would be tired. i would just be tired for very different reasons. i would have been tired from boredom, tired from too many late night, "i love lucy" episodes. i would have been tired from staying up too late, writing and drawing. i would have been to tired just because i was a teenager.
i guess every generation looks back and wonders if life has really changed for the best. so much is available to all of us. information at our fingertips, friends at our fingertips on facebook and on our cellphones and i-phones.....we can use our phones and computers to talk to our family and friends in other countries....we can even look at them on the computer games to play indoors, on the television or on the computer or on our cell phones or i-phones. anyone can buy anything today with a credit card...even if there is no way to pay it back....credit is the norm. everybody can go anywhere..anytime...stores are open 24 hours...there are fresh brewed coffee boutiques on every corner....we don't even have to get out of the car to get our breakfast, lunch or dinner or snack at any hour....we can order on line in the middle of the night.....we can get money anywhere, anytime.....airplane travel is taken for granted......in some homes each family member has their own car..........lots of people have g.p.s., electronic maps, in their cars, it's not even possible to get lost anymore and have the challenge of finding the right route.....
so why get up and go skiing, when you can do virtual skiing on t.v.? maybe, kids do take advantage of what they have. we know how much more these kids have been exposed to than us......and how much more stuff and more technology than us ...... i think we have a generation with parents who love to provide and give what's available.....they have so much more available than we did.....there's more where that came from!