Let Me Explain

One of the hardest things for me as a mother is letting my kids go--be it a new responsibility, a choice, a special freedom, or celebrating their birthdays. It's certainly bittersweet. You have the joy over their growing up, but you have the loss, as well--letting go of the way things used to be. When you really think about it, motherhood is one of the cruelest jokes ever. You bring a child into your life and you spend the next few years falling deeply in love with them and doing absolutely everything for them and with them. Then you spend the rest of your life slowly letting go of them and watching them move on. I mean really... whose idea was this? And why does it have to be so painful?

Well, now that Carver is 12, Lily is 10, and Zinabu is 7 ("and a half," he always yells!) they are allowed to ride their bikes anywhere in our neighborhood. Carver and Lily can go anytime, but if Z wants to ride along, they all have to stay together. I'm slowly getting used to the idea that they'll be out of my sight and earshot for long stretches at a time, and I admit I think I finally understand why some parents buy cell phones for their children. So far, my kids have handled the responsibility just fine.

Yesterday there was a garage sale at the bottom of our neighborhood. My children were elated. Carver and Lily went first, and when they saw the cheap loot they came back for Zinabu. They took their own money and had... a... ball. Here is what they came back with:

3 sombreros
1 fishing rod
2 fishing nets
1 fishing tackle box
1 cowboy hat
1 outdated cheap camera that uses film
1 giant ship replica that's supposed to be mounted on the wall
1 dart board
1 hunting vest
1 basket of dried flowers
1 basket of Christmas decorations
1 life vest
1 pink flamingo yard decoration (which was a gift for me since they thought I would {LOVE} it)

So with their freedom to ride their bikes where they want, I also now am struggling with their financial decisions. My kids came home with tons of crap, and what am I supposed to do? Praise them for their ingenuity? Applaud their "good deals"? Celebrate their finds?

David did not help. He offered to reimburse them for the sombreros.


hotflawedmama said...


1st-yes, cruel, cruel joke. Agreed.

2nd-that.is.amazing. I love their loot!

jayme said...


rebekah said...

Ok, I am laughing bc it's not my house their new stuff has to go into. Other than that, I'm also shaking my head. Have fun with your new flamingo! I expect it'll have a prominent yard spot by July?

Shannon said...

So...here's what I would do.

The ship goes on the wall in the boys' room. They get to dust it, too. :)

The flowers can go in Lily's room.

The sombreros also become wall art in the respective bedrooms, and they all have to dress like stereotypical Mexicans for Halloween next year (to make buying them "worth it"). Or somebody has to go as a hunting cowboy. Or fisherman, complete with lifevest.

I think I recall Uncle David having a dart board in his bedroom at the old house in Mt. Lake... You could mount yours on a tree in the back yard (provided there are no bears) and they can aim at that...and spend the rest of their time searching the yard for the darts that missed... OR - even better!! mount it on the pink flamingo (also fit for a dark corner of the back yard, but at least they'll always believe you loved it, since you DID put it in the yard...)

And my kids wouldn't do much better, if given the chance to spend their own money at a garage sale.

And yes, it is TOTALLY cruel that they grow up so fast. My hubs and I were just talking about it last night (our oldest is almost 10, and it's a bit freaky how soon she'll start turning from a little girl into a woman), and I got so emotional I cried. (But that just might be because I'm pregnant right now, too...)

AnnMarie & Nick said...

WOW, your kids made out BIG TIME! I'm hoping they got some sort of BOGO deal since they bought so much:)

Julie said...

This is my favorite post ever.

Chatter said...

Ahhh... this makes me laugh. I love the freedom you are allowing your kids. I'm not looking forward to my five year old (going on 20) turning 6, then 7,8,9,10. It's already going to fast. Hope you've managed to find a home for their loot. Hilarious post! Love it :)

Mama Papaya said...

Um, wow. Just wow.

You have inspired me to pay my children in canadian dollars should I ever implement a compensation scheme for my two.

Old Men Reflect said...

Wow. Never let them go into a pawn shop unsupervised.