BlowingRockVista

Thursday, March 30, 2006

spring break, day 5  

posted by Michael Piwonka 10:28 PM
Before heading out on the road to travel to Blowing Rock, NC, we made one final attempt to get a George Mason University shirt for Allie and Mason. We went to the University Mall in search of the suddenly popular shirts; we found a t-shirt shop that was temporarily out of youth-sized shirts, but expected more Wednesday afternoon.

They offered to ship them to us, so I ordered two shirts, one for each kid. The price ended up being a little steep, but at least we can say the shirts are "authentic", purchased from the University. We may get them as soon as tomorrow.

Allie and Mason were great on the road, just as they had been the entire trip. They would occasionally get restless, or would argue about something, but for the most part laughed, chatted, or played the whole way. I complimented them on how well they did on the trip.

The approximate 6-hour trip from Herndon, VA, to Blowing Rock was interrupted by numerous bathroom breaks. However, I didn't really mind as it made me get out of the car, which prevented fatigue.

We ended the day by watching a beautiful sunset over the mountains from one of my favorite restaurants in Blowing Rock. While Washington DC was fun, the serenity of the mountains trumps all, at least in my opinion.

The drive gave me time to reflect on a conversation that Penny and I had had several days earlier. Penny was becoming so exasperated with Mason's behavior that she felt he would never obey, and that perhaps he should be sent to a boarding school of some sort to teach him manners. Penny alluded to her belief that such little boys eventually ended up in jail.

I thought such talk was premature at best, ridiculous at worst. After spending several days with him and Allie, many hours of which were in the car, I can now say emphatically that such talk is nonsense.

Mason is a typical little boy, full of energy and curiosity, continually testing authority, eager for life and learning. He does require more direction than Allie, but most boys require more direction than girls.

I think the reality of single parenthood is starting to set in. While I applaud Penny on her recovery in AA, and her desire to be the parent she always wanted to be, I don't think she knew what she was getting into. There is tremendous work involved in parenting, especially alone. While the ideas of drying out, becoming responsible and raising perfect little children are noble, the reality is doing so is very difficult.

Her answer to most issues in her life has always been to pay someone else to do it for her. And if the first person doesn't deliver the way Penny wants, she goes on to the next, whether it's interior decorators, therapists, churches, spouses, etc. It's one of the things I won't really miss.

Boarding schools are full of rich little kids who were too inconvenient for their parents. I don't think Allie or Mason should even be considered for such things.

My offer to keep both kids still stands. And I wouldn't be sending them to a boarding school.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.




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