My older son had pestered asked us to camp out in the backyard for several weeks. We finally decided that if he pitched his own tent and cleaned up, then he could. The next battle discussion point was where to set up the tent.
His desired location: in a cluster of trees out of sight of the house (where, by the way, he saw a large animal that scared the wits out of him early in the summer. In talking to neighbors, we think it could’ve been a bear.)
Our preferred location: in a clearing next to the house, close enough to our bedroom that we could hear them.
My son continued to present his case for independence, and we continued to explain our position. Finally, we made our last offer (a take-it-or-leave-it deal): camp in the clearing next to the house or don’t camp at all.
At his age, independence is limited, but determination is not. I remember when I knew I could accomplish anything because I had the will and fire to make my dreams happen. Yes, this is past tense. This observation made me wonder exactly when I succumbed to complacency and accepted my full adulthood independence without the determination to reach for more.
My inner voice is eager to point out that so many people reach for the same dream, that they are more flexible than me. They are better than me. My inner voice is plugged into my well of determination and has pretty much bled it dry.
My son put up his tent, with a little muscle from his dad to pound in three of the stakes. I gave my boy a hug and gushed about how proud I was of him.
“Mo-om,” he groaned as he pushed me away.
I smiled, because I’ve learned what the two syllable “Mom” really means: “Yeah, I love you too, but please get away from me you emotional freak – it could be contagious!”
As for my inner voice, it can shut up and leave me alone. Failure is guaranteed if I let it yammer on at me.
Update: When the inky darkness descended and he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, my son decided he’d rather sleep inside. (But he wasn’t scared, he assured me.) Even though good sense tempered his enthusiasm, he’s still inspired me to rekindle my own determination.
This is not part of Darlene’s Story that I’ve been writing with Trifecta weekly prompts. In fact, this isn’t a Trifecta post at all…I wasn’t “feeling” the prompt today, so I did my own thing.
Edit: After I posted this, I ran across the Speakeasy/Yeah Write challenges while reading Suzanne’s (awesome) blog. I read about the two challenges – Speakeasy is fiction, and Yeah Write is non-fiction/personal essay. I reviewed the submission guidelines and I think this qualifies for Yeah Write, so I’m going to
gag my inner voice link up and give it a shot. Click on the badge/link below to check out other submissions (or give it a try yourself).