Big Ideas

You’re never going to guess what I’m doing this weekend.  No, really, you’ll never guess. Try…

If you guessed “attending a party to celebrate Arkansas’ birthday, fully planned and funded by my nine-year-old son” you’d be correct.

You didn’t guess that, did you?

Arkansas party invitation

We do not live in Arkansas, nor have we ever visited, but thanks to Google Maps, older son has been obsessed with Arkansas since November of last year.  (Most kids surf the internet, my son spends his time on maps.)  He saw pictures of the Ozarks and Lake Ouachita and he’s been appealing to our love of nature with the camping/hiking angle since then.

(Lake Ouachita via Wikipedia)

If it weren’t so far away, he probably would have worn me down by now.  But Moms have long memories and the last car ride full of jabbing elbows, arguing and “are we there yets” is fresh in my mind.  And that was just to the grocery store 🙂  The thought of 20 hours of the same elicits a knee-jerk (but still firm) “no”.

Seeing that Mom can be in immovable object, he approached things differently.  In December, he said he was going to have a party for Arkansas’ birthday in June (Arkansas became a state on June 15, 1836.)  “Oh, okay,” I said, figuring he’d forget about it or move on to something else.  I like to save my “no” answers for things that won’t disappear on their own.

He never did stop talking about that party, and when he gave me a hand-written party invitation in April to copy, I had an inkling the party wasn’t going away.  I knew for certain it was “go” when I woke up three weekends ago to find my entire dining room rearranged for party games.  (“I have to start getting ready for the party,” he told me.)

This party is a BIG deal…Hey, wait, there’re my kitchen scissors!  Whoa, do we really use that much TP?!

I’m enjoying his excitement over the whole thing.  Last night, he asked me, “Mom, will you be so proud of me if I plan this three-hour party and everyone has fun?”

What I wanted to tell him was that I’m proud of him because of who he is; his sweetness, his quest to learn, his interest in geography and nature, his growing sense of responsibility and the glimpses I can see ever more frequently that remind me one day, in the not-too-distant future, he will be a man I’ll look up to (figuratively and literally.)

Now, I can’t get too sappy with my boy, or he’ll run away, like the quail family in my front yard when I try to take a picture.  I simply told him, “son, I’m already proud of you because you are you,” and gave him a hug.

The hug went too far.

He wriggled out of my grasp and put some distance between us.  Specifically, two rooms and a closed door.


26 thoughts on “Big Ideas

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 9:17 PM

      If we only knew where to send the invite, I just know he would show up, Carl! (My son said Bill Clinton is his favorite president. He was born after Clinton’s presidency, so I was curious about why. When asked, my son said,’because he was born in Arkansas.’ I guess that’s a good enough reason!)

  1. chlost June 13, 2012 / 5:50 AM

    What an amazing way to spend your day! I wish I were invited to an Arkansas party! He is a wonderfully imaginative kid. Enjoy every moment-even if from a bit of a distance! You know he still loves your hugs, he just can’t act that way.

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:29 PM

      You’re invited to the recap, Chlost! (I’ll post something about the party afterwards.) Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

  2. suzicate June 13, 2012 / 6:24 AM

    What a sweet boy!
    “He wriggled out of my grasp and put some distance between us. Specifically, two rooms and a closed door.” -the one thing about boys is they’re not as huggy as girls after a certain age, but they seem to not fight with mom as much as daughters!

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:32 PM

      I see what you say about not fighting as much with Mom, Suzicate…I see more conflicts between the boys and their dad. Hope I don’t need to get a striped referee shirt 🙂

  3. momsomniac June 13, 2012 / 8:54 AM

    Awwww! That is fantastic.

    We had the pleasure of driving through Arkansas two years ago. I wouldn’t recommend the low-country in July but the high country was breath-taking.

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:34 PM

      I would like to see Arkansas, there is pretty scenery judging by the pictures. If only AR was closer to AZ…

      Thanks for the tip about July, Momsomniac 🙂

  4. cuhome June 13, 2012 / 11:24 AM

    What a sweet interaction–seems your son has inherited some of your vivid imagination and enthusiasm!!

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:45 PM

      Oh, I think he has much more of an imagination that I do, Janet 🙂

  5. Debbie June 13, 2012 / 11:35 AM

    Pat yourself on the back, Janna — you’re raising an amazing son! Imaginative, clever, persistent, educated. Yes, you’ll be surprised how fast the time flies before you’re looking up into the face of a young man!

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:47 PM

      I don’t think I can take credit for how he is, Debbie (though it’s flattering to think I could :)) I wish there was some way to ‘pause’ life so I could enjoy these moments longer.

  6. pattyabr June 13, 2012 / 12:59 PM

    I’ve “barely” been to Arkansas but I’ve been to the Missiuri Ozarks as a child camping and boating with my aunt, uncle and cousins and it was tons of fun. Have fun w/ your party.

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:49 PM

      The pictures I’ve seen of the Ozarks are pretty. It sounds like you did have fun with your family. Thanks for sharing your memories, Patty 🙂

  7. Diane Turner June 13, 2012 / 5:04 PM

    What a delightful interaction. If I didn’t live so far away, I’d join you. Have great fun at your party.

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:50 PM

      I’ll post a follow up, so you can feel like you attended (no travel costs involved :)) Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2012 / 10:51 PM

      He can be sweet and thoughtful, Eric. (I so enjoy those moments.)

  8. philosophermouseofthehedge June 14, 2012 / 5:50 PM

    THis is a lovely phrase:” he’ll run away, like the quail family in my front yard when I try to take a picture” So expressive – and true.
    What an amazing kid to take an idea and run with it.
    Arkansas is really gorgeous in places (and that new art museum is opening!!!!)

    • jannatwrites June 14, 2012 / 7:46 PM

      Thanks, Phil. I would like to see Arkansas some day, I’m not sure when that will be, though. We haven’t even been to Yosemite yet and that’s closer to us.

  9. GodGirl June 15, 2012 / 3:52 AM

    This is touching and sweet! And what an awesome party! (You are a great mum by the way)

    • jannatwrites June 15, 2012 / 6:08 PM

      Thanks, GodGirl. Sometimes I’m better than others. The little party planner is setting the room set up right now 🙂

  10. Sandra June 16, 2012 / 2:44 PM

    Precious! It’s really wonderful when kids get into something and their passion really shines through! I hope it was a great party!

    • jannatwrites June 16, 2012 / 6:13 PM

      It was a nice party – we had more people than expected (we had eighteen). Kiddo had fun, but now he’s got a lot of cleaning up to do 🙂

  11. pattisj June 20, 2012 / 12:09 PM

    What an imaginative fellow! It will be interesting to see where his interests take him someday. I hope you intend to be blogging 20 years from now…

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:41 PM

      Yes, his imagination is well-fed. With any luck, I’ll still be blogging 🙂

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