My son came home from sleepaway camp the other day. He left a cherub, he returned a tween.
Scott Lenz: The primary job of the parent is to, well, parent. So in that sense, it has been an unusual summer. Both of my kids went to sleepaway camp in Ojai, CA -- my 8-year-old daughter for two weeks, my 11-year-old son for four weeks. Before this, the longest childless period for my wife and I -- after our son was born in 1997 -- had been roughly 100 hours.
I am happy to report, however, that we are back at full nuclear family strength. What this means, predictably, is that the Food Network has been on 24/7, the chatter has been more intense than Al Qaeda Bunco night, and new tween anthems will be downloaded (and deleted -- I'm hoping it's "Pokerface").
What we didn't expect was my son telling us that he had ... "asked someone out." And furthermore, she said "no" -- that b***h! My son is sensitive, handsome, he cooks, enjoys reading and music -- which I guess will make him a great college boyfriend, but not necessarily a great summer camp boyfriend. But Jaron took it in stride, and even facilitated a hook-up between his bunk mate and the strumpet (which lasted as long as it took to watch "The Love Guru" on a counselor's iPod).
At the moment, Jaron is attempting to deep-fry balls of ground beef mixed with cheese, jalapeno peppers, and vegetables (FYI -- we don't own a deep fryer); and Georgia is dicing the Japanese eggplant and tomatoes we grew out back to put on a pizza. I am up in the office/loft, typing this, barking out commands ("Don't use two habaneros," "Please skip through this stupid Latisse commercial"), even though I can't actually see what is happening in the kitchen. The blind leading the loud.
In other words, I am back in my element -- and loving it.
|Scott Lenz, a former music journalist and television producer, is a stay-at-home dad to his two children, Jaron and Georgia, and a stay-at-home husband to his wife, Suzanne. They all live in Los Angeles.|