Monday, April 16, 2007


Our daughters went to Girl Scout Camp this weekend, and because there wasn’t any school on Friday, they were gone from Friday at 10am to Sunday at 3pm. At age 11, that’s the longest camping trip for them yet (without us, that is).

In their previous scouting years (as Brownies) I always went along as a chaperone and driver. But now my daughters are Juniors, and they are in a troop that allows them much more independence and responsibility. None of the troop leaders asked me to go. Neither did my daughters.

“Bring hats,” I said to them as we loaded up the gear.

“We’re fine, Mom,” they said.

“Bring mittens,” I responded.

“We’re fine, Mom,” they said.

When we arrived at the drop-off site, I asked them if they needed any money for the gift shop.

“We’re fine, Mom.”

The troop leader said they would call me Sunday afternoon, when they got back into town.

So my husband and I had some lovely, quiet time together—Ann Sather’s for a leisurely breakfast, a couple ‘o cosmopolitans, a beautiful dinner party in Bridgeport, cleaning up the garden for a good long time, reading (uninterrupted) for a good long time, and pretty much avoiding meal prep like we often did in our life before children. But I suspect, at the same time, we were both secretly thinking the same thought:

We are becoming superfluous.

Well, they came back to us safe and sound—with dirty faces, carrying filthy laundry, smelling like a campfire, and happy.

I don’t think we can ask for more than that.

And in the end, it’s not that we are becoming superfluous. It’s that they are becoming young ladies.


Johnny Yen said...

I alluded to this in my Saturday post--

Kathy said...

Yes, it's interesting how life often steers us to similar conclusions . . . .

Doris Lessing once wrote, wisely, that "growing up is after all only the understanding that one's unique and incredible experience is what everyone shares."

Anonymous said...

Believe me, Kathy, you will NEVER be superflous in their lives. The arrangments will change but not the heart of the matter. We are our parents and they are us.