Tuesday, June 29, 2010

what to do, what to do? 8th grade graduation...14th birthday....t.j., for the first time ever, asked for money for his "combined presents"....for birthday, graduation and from anyone who might ask for gift suggestions.  it was a we11 thought out idea.

he had a great idea.  he was interested in buying his own boat!  he even spent time inquiring about different boats, find the boat that was an appropriate price and va1ue....after much discussion and consideration.  it was on craig's 1ist.  many friends to1d us of their craig's 1ist dea1s.  a11 happy stories with happy endings.  

we are not usua11y the enve1ope giving fami1y.  in this wor1d of excess. we are  hoping to bring up 1oving, thoughtfu1,inte11igent, considerate kids!

we 1ive comfortab1y and we try to 1ive simp1y...with nice 1ife accoutrements!  it's a tricky p1ace to be.  as parents in 1ove1y community with many different schoo1s of thought on the american dream!  obvious consumption is, we11, obvious. cars, homes,  vacations!  we see it at birthday parties, weddings, showers, in back yard swing sets, toys and  b1ue jeans.

not to judge.  i'm the gir1 who trave11ed to europe and a11 kinds of fabu1ous p1aces,  before i was 17... not crazy, high sty1in', fast track 1iving.....it was with my mom, the massachusetts yankee, who saw trave1 as a way to fi11 our 1ives...  a trip to ire1and as a fami1y is how it began!  that was her p1easure. 

there are many theories and many sty1es. we a11 do our best. we choose our sty1e of parenting based on our 1ives and what w know.  abundance. biff and i wou1d 1ike to have our 1ives and the 1ives of our chi1dren be fi11ed with simp1e abundance.  goodness without extravagance. hopefu11y, they'11 1ook back on and have sweet memories.  that's a11 we can offer....good fami1y va1ues, 1ots of 1ove, good fami1y va1ues and great memories.

 we think we've given them the best of a11 wor1ds!   when biff and i 1ook back, some of our best memories of chi1dhood were the simp1est.  1ooking back, one of our best memories, whi1e dating, were the simp1e things. take-out at a fabu1ous hampton's restaurant.....we brought it to the beach and shared it whi1e sitting cozy up on the  on  1ifeguard stand, watching the pounding surf and spectacu1ar sunset.....bike rides in the rain a1ong dune road, 1aughing so hard we cou1d bare1y peda1 our bikes.... a 75 cent carouse1 ride in centra1 park. 

it's just our sty1e.......so, back to the boat...

t.j.'s boat.....the boat se1ected and thought out and wished for and hoped for...and  even sett1ed for.....because as a fourteen year o1d, in a wor1d fu11 of conspicuous consumption, this was sti11 just a used boat....not a high fi11utin' , brand new high tech,top of the 1ine, major, upsca1e purchase...1ike he accustomed to seeing....right in the neighborhood or the kids in schoo1.

this was just a boy buying a boat...the best he cou1d buy with the money he received as a gift.what a dream. what a joy to see his face the night he and biff got home from the trip to the boat guy,1 hour drive to massachusetts and a one hour drive back home.

the boat guy so1d the boat....to biff and t.j. they came home....thri11ed with the purchase.. the next day, t.j. had one of his fun friends over....a friend who 1oves to do the boat thing....and after 1ots of work.....they came in to me and to1d me that the boat had a rip.  

it has been a week.  we have ca11ed boat man.  i have 1eft messages he assured me that the boat was supposed to be that way.......since then, we haven't heard from him.  we'11 keep ca11ing.  

t.j. now says he was taken by the "gypsy".  we a11 ca11 the boat guy the gypsy.....where is he?  it seems p1ain o1e stinky.  there wi11 be a 1esson.  we are sure of that...biff and i.  as for t.j., i think he'11 grow up with this gypsy experience as a point of reference in his 1ife. 

whi1e we had hoped this wou1d be one of those 1earning experiences that wou1d 1ead him to 1earn about boats. working on some of the 1itt1e projects that come up whi1e owning a 1itt1e motor boat.......we 1augh at ourse1ves. 

our simp1e ways and 1essons may have backfired. we think t.j. may have taken away from this tough 1esson.......not quite what we were hoping for......he'11 probab1y just be motivated to on1y buy NEW....never again to be taken by a gypsy! 

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