twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Dysfunction at 9,000 Feet

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

My son and daughter were troopers for the first half-mile -- then the drama started.

Token Dad: Summer, traditionally, entails my son (11) and daughter (8) spending 95% of their educational hiatus in day camp, cooking camp, fencing camp, therapy camp, punctuation camp, or a special camp we have right here at home: Wii/Nick/iPod camp. This year, however, that fickle mistress -- the economy -- has limited camp to 37 days out of a possible 82 (not that I'm counting). This recently resulted in a grueling stretch of 20 -- that's right, twenty, with a capital T -- days with both children, 24/7, no playdates, no grandparents' lunches (my mother-in-law smartly fled to Turkey) ... nada.

lenz family hiking

Luckily, my wife -- the doctor -- is smarter than me, and had planned a relaxing trip to ... Sequoia National Forest. Great! In between interminable stints behind the wheel -- with my son, daughter, and wife swapping back, head, and stomach aches while I maintained Zen, humming along to Pet Shop Boys -- we crawled through caves, climbed over rocks, and drove through tree trunks. We also saw the "General Sherman" tree -- the world's largest living thing. (Far outsizing my disdain for Judd Apatow.)

The familial catharsis occurred when we decided to hike to Eagle Lake. The trek was described as "strenuous": 3.4 miles, scores of switchbacks, altitude of 9,700 feet. My son and daughter were troopers for the first half-mile -- then the drama started. Every imaginable affliction was offered, short of plague. In return, every hackneyed potential life lesson was trotted out: "If you can do this, nothing is impossible"; "Think how proud you'll be" ... um, yeah, whatevs. At 9,000 feet, after a (literally) heated debate, we settled on "It's not the goal, it's the journey."

Forgiveness prevailed on the drive back to the cabin, and we sang aloud in harmony to, appropriately, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"


next: Eddie Cibrian's Wife Confirms She's Left Him Over Affairs
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen July 22, 2009, 8:00 AM

Sad to hear that it was GRUELING to spend 24/7 with your children. I think it’s sad that you had 20 days with your children and you were bothered by that. Good grief!

Mother of 2 July 22, 2009, 11:13 AM

Living in Montana my husband and I along with out 2 daughters, ages 4 and 6, have hiked 7 miles straight up a mountain and yes there was some complaining but most people could not believe that a 4 and 6 year old could hike that distance and steepness when they themselves, being adults, could barely do it. It make me feel proud to have spent this time with my family and we routely hike and enjoy each others company!

Wendi July 23, 2009, 3:21 AM

I find it horrible that you have a problem with having YOUR children with your during the summer. Yes it is nice to get a break every now and then, but they are YOUR kids. In my opinion it is people with that type of attitude that cause our children to get into so much trouble. If you were there bonding with your kids, then they would be better people, and you would have more fun being with them and them with you. I am a stay at home mom with a 3yr old boy, 12 yr old boy and 14yr old girl. I do not send them off to multiple camps during the summer. I plan things and do them with my children and sometimes we just stay at home and do nothing all day. My kids and I actually enjoy hanging out with each other and I do cherrish this time that I have, because I know it is passing way to fast for my liking. I can not believe that you are a stay at home dad and are so negative about being with your kids. I feel bad for your kids and think that you should embrace the time you have with them.

JoGirl310 July 24, 2009, 7:11 PM

Seems like not everyone (ahem) has a sense of humor about this subject, but I can absolutely relate to the feeling of being trapped with a couple of bored kids who are used to having their days filled with scheduled activities. Check out Lenore Skenazy’s Free Range Kids movement for some ideas to relieve boredom by encouraging a sense of freedom and adventure. Here’s hoping the rest of your summer is smooth sailing!

Danny Douglas July 25, 2009, 3:29 PM

I think its wonderful that Scott spent 20 “grueling” days with his children. Just because he used the term “grueling”, does that mean he doesn’t love his children? I think not. It’s apparent to me that he spends more time with his children then the “normal” person (mother or father) does. My wife is a stay at home Mom and when I get home from work, she needs a break. Some adult conversation. A glass of wine. A bubble bath. A foot rub. I see her loving her children all the time (24/7 minus the little sleep she gets), but I also know that she needs a break from them and Me. Taking a break does not mean you are bothered by your children and it doesn’t mean you love them any less. Taking a break allows us as parents to clear our minds and pursue things that we enjoy (dinner out with your girlfriends, a book club, a bridge club, going to the gym, quilting, shopping, etc) Taking a break doesn’t make us bad parents, it makes us sane and happy parents. Keep hiking with your kids Scott. One day, my family and I will meet you on the hiking path. Then we can take a break while our kids play together.

Danny Douglas July 25, 2009, 3:29 PM

I think its wonderful that Scott spent 20 “grueling” days with his children. Just because he used the term “grueling”, does that mean he doesn’t love his children? I think not. It’s apparent to me that he spends more time with his children then the “normal” person (mother or father) does. My wife is a stay at home Mom and when I get home from work, she needs a break. Some adult conversation. A glass of wine. A bubble bath. A foot rub. I see her loving her children all the time (24/7 minus the little sleep she gets), but I also know that she needs a break from them and Me. Taking a break does not mean you are bothered by your children and it doesn’t mean you love them any less. Taking a break allows us as parents to clear our minds and pursue things that we enjoy (dinner out with your girlfriends, a book club, a bridge club, going to the gym, quilting, shopping, etc) Taking a break doesn’t make us bad parents, it makes us sane and happy parents. Keep hiking with your kids Scott. One day, my family and I will meet you on the hiking path. Then we can take a break while our kids play together.

Fashion Merchandising October 12, 2010, 2:16 PM

I’m currently working on a forum to house all industry professionals under one roof and to provide an area where we can grow together.

Home Phone Service Providers In My Area November 25, 2010, 12:32 AM

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.

Merchant Account December 23, 2010, 5:25 AM

You gave me some wonderful ideas for my own website.

hair dye color chart January 14, 2011, 11:51 PM

Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.

Ruthie Urteaga January 23, 2011, 3:52 AM

my thoughts exactly

walter payton authentic jerseys March 28, 2011, 4:48 AM

Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface. But sometimes, there’s a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement