Monsoons, Moments, and Mars

It was just me and LT over the weekend. Lamont and Kiddo had embarked on a father-son overnight camping and fishing trip, a trip they go on at least once a year. While they had been gone, there had been heavy rain showers at the coast resulting in texts like “It was a monsoon” and “it turns out that our tent is only 95% waterproof,” messages that amuse me to no end, especially as I sip my wine, comfortably on my couch, while watching a chick flick, foreign film or similar typically vetoed movie selection.

kid's tea party

A four-year-old and a porcelain tea cup – also known as a terrified parent’s near heart attack with every sip.

I certainly felt that we’d gotten the better end of the deal as the weekend progressed. LT and I attended a tea party where he’d pulled on an over-sized straw hat, proclaimed himself a cowboy, and then shouted “Yee-Haw” to other guests (“use your inside voice, LT” x 100). LT had gone in search of waterfalls with his Nana and to a friend’s birthday party. I just knew Kiddo would envy the fun (and dry weather) we’d had.

I was wrong. When Kiddo and Lamont returned, I asked my boys if they would like to swap roles the next time. Did Kiddo want to stay with mom while LT went with dad? Kiddo looked at me like I was speaking another language. LT, misinterpreting the question and his brother’s answer into meaning that only one kid could go and Kiddo was it, practically threatened to secede from the family in protest. “Wait a minute, LT, didn’t you have fun?”

Even though I am happy enough to have some me time, the sound rejection stung and a little hurt must have shown in my face. “It’s not you. He is just afraid of missing out,” Lamont consoled me.

Later, after the kids were in bed, (or at least should have been bed – LT has been rather,… shall we say,… bedtime adverse over the last several days so it is hard to say for sure) Lamont stood outside waiting for Her Royal Highness to finish her evening’s business (by all means, Ms., please take your time). A bright, full moon shone overhead, illuminating exactly how little HRH cared about our impatience.

“We’re supposed to be able to see Mars,” I commented to Lamont as I joined him on the porch.

“Yeah, it’s by the moon.”

Mars Hubble

Image courtesy of the Hubble Telescope and Wikipedia Commons,  and not at all representative of what I could see from my porch.

I looked where he pointed. Sure enough, there was a large brilliant orange dot in the sky. I ran inside (I’m a bit of a space enthusiast) and collected Kiddo’s telescope, a basic children’s starter model. I was able to locate the spot in the telescope’s view finder, but no matter how much I adjusted dials or re-positioned the lens, I was never quite able to capture a clear shot of the planet in full with all its peaks and valleys. I would have to be content instead with what I could see with my naked eye.

“It was even brighter at the beach.” Lamont informed me as HRH finally deigned to make her way back inside.

As I returned the telescope to its regular resting place it occurred to me that if the sky cleared long enough for Lamont to get a clear view of Mars, the trip hadn’t been the total washout his early texts would lead one to believe. Those texts were only snap shots from their weekend together, mere grains in the hourglass of their time. I also knew I’d only miss more as there were more journeys away from mom.

And that’s okay.

I could insist on joining them at the beach, but instead, I am looking forward to the excitement in the air, second only to Christmas, prior to their trip and the joy on their sun-browned faces as they tumble out of the car on their way to greet me on their return. I am looking forward to hearing the stories they collectively are suitable for mom’s ears and confronting Lamont with a smile when one of the boys accidentally shares something mom doesn’t need to know. But, as much as I love and will miss them, I am also seriously looking forward to a few moments to myself (like the occasional bathroom break).

I don’t need to see all the moments to be content. I am not afraid of missing out. I just want a clear sight when it comes to the moments that matter.

 

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25 thoughts on “Monsoons, Moments, and Mars

    • Thanks! I was thinking about you during the tea party, or more to the point I was thinking how much I hoped we could get through the event without creating too much potential fodder for your blog.

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      • Haha! At first I thought you thought of me because you somehow know I love tea. I was touched. Do we know each other that well? But thinking of fodder for my blog definitely works, too. That picture made me cringe, and I totally felt your anxiety with each sip. I’d be right there with you, hovering, most likely, with my hands reflexively out and ready to catch that cup!

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  1. I agree with you that in the end the importance is in seeing and knowing about the moments that matter. There has to be some space between people, including Moms and kids. Mars is out there all the time, but that doesn’t mean you have to see it every night, now does it?

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  2. This is so lovely, Allie. That time with dad is so important and will be treasured throughout their lives. He is teaching them about what “dads” are all about, and that will come in handy down the road when they are making choices. It’s a huge gift. Plus, the mom alone time is pretty sweet. 🙂

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  3. Years ago, when I was a fly fishing guide, I spent every weekend from April through September, in the Catskills and away from home. I did that for 10 years, and those were by far the happiest years of our nearly 35 years of marriage. I came home with all kinds of stories, and received same from my wife, Becky. The little respite each weekend was just what we needed to recharge our respective batteries. It works the same with kids, I’m sure . . .
    Great post, Allie! 🙂

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  4. It’s funny isn’t it – cause I felt like I was missing out for a while when the boy went to BaBa’s (my mums) he is far more excited about sleep overs there than he’ll ever be about being at home. I hated that at first but I’m kind of ok with it now. Solitude as you say but also because it’s OK for him to do things on his own – hard as it is to accept 💖

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    • Those earliest sleepovers were tough! What do you mean he actually had fun. He should have been pining for mom all night and begging never for me to leave again. Then again that means I never get a night out again… Hmm… new plan.

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  5. I was pretty impressed with your shot of Mars until I read that it wasn’t your shot of Mars. Not that I blame you: I’m fine with leaving the really good space pics up to the Hubble telescope.

    Glad their trip wasn’t a total washout!

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