Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Campers

I'm childless until Sunday.

Woo-hoo! Salads every night!

A true sign of growing older, I guess, is being happy that the kids aren't around so that I can eat healthier.

I don't feed my kids a steady diet of junk food, mind you, but when the kid palattes outnumber the grownup ones by 2-to-1, it does impact one's menu choices.

They rode off to camp this morning at around 9. This is their third year at this particular camp. There's been a world of difference in my life in the past three years, but I've done my best to keep things with my kids on an even keel.

All things considered.

But it's worth noting that when you're a kid, three years is an exceeingly long time, and much changes simply because it's in the nature of kids to change.

Put it this way: To me, three years is a little bit more than six percent of my total life. For my kids, it's about 30% on average*. Thirty percent of my life ago, we were all wondering what this guy from Arkansas would do in the White House.

In 2005, my kids were like velcro. They stuck to my hips, and didn't stray far. When it came time to load them onto their buses (one for the boys, one for the girls), I spent the next half-hour dashing back and forth between the two, smiling, waving, blowing kisses, and mouthing "I love you" to those two scared, brave little faces until the buses pulled out.

Even last year, although they knew some kids, they tended to hover near me, hugging and holding my hands.

This year? Pfft. See ya, Dad. Make sure the trunks get loaded, ok?

Well. it was almost like that. Even though they met up with their friends, I couldn't just leave. I asked. No, I had to stay. A respectful distance away, of course, but still where they could see me. And while they were on the buses I made a game out of whose friends would say "Your Dad is weird" first.**

So they're gone, with far fewer smiles and waves to me, but with much happier faces over all. And that's good. Because these kids aren't really mine. They never were. They're just two bright comets that came by, and even now are arcing gracefully and inexorably away.

As it should be.

And so I have a week to myself. Well, mostly to myself.

I have a date on Thursday. know...a lady.

Stay tuned.


*Which is why, in my opinion, time seems to move faster as we get older. It seems like it takes less time to get through a year because each year is an increasingly smaller percentage of our lives.

**My daughter's, of course. Although they also laughed at me more.


Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I was kid free last week. I missed them. I was damn lonely. I didn't know when to eat or go to bed cuz I had nobody to nag. The dog kept looking at me like I forgot something. The cat kept looking at me like I'd have more time to pet him now.

I vowed I'd get some WORK done, and I did. I told myself all week that they were having fun and not worried about me.

I was sooooo happy to get them home again!

And they've been tired, grumpy, cranky, antagonistic and nasty all day! Yay! they're back!!

8:41 PM  
Blogger terry said...

"They're just two bright comets that came by, and even now are arcing gracefully and inexorably away."

just beautiful.

yay! a date! enjoy. you deserve it.

2:14 AM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

i like the same line Terry quoted - that is beautiful


i'm kidless every other week

while i miss them, it helps me to have my own time to be me and not just a Dad

take time to be you

1:34 PM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

good luck on the date

1:35 PM  
Blogger GC said...

Because these kids aren't really mine. They never were. They're just two bright comets that came by, and even now are arcing gracefully and inexorably away.

that brought tears to my eyes.
My Mom told me something similar on Sunday. She said:You're mine, well, not really. God lent you to me.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

a lady
(said in my best ladies man voice)

i am marking my calendar...not because you have a date but because a man is excited about eating salad

3:23 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I'm picturing the series of scenes from Harry Potter on platform 9 3/4. Good luck tonight!

10:54 PM  

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