The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My 4 year old wants an RV for Christmas

All week, Vinny has been begging me to take him camping. Yes, camping. Unfortunately, we didn't go camping this summer. Who'd have thought he'd miss it so much?

Now, every camping trip we've done since Vinny was born has been in an RV. We don't own an RV, we just rent them or share one with my parents when they rent it. We do own a tent and have gone tent camping, but before Vinny was born. I guess I got afraid to rough it with a kid. I tried to explain the concept of tent camping to him, but he keeps getting confused by the play tent with a tunnel he has and can't imagine all of us sleeping in a tent. It could happen. I don't know if it will, but it could.

However,  today Vinny says, "Mommy, can you put a bus house [translation: RV] on my Christmas list?"  I laughed and double checked to be sure I understood this, "A bus house? You have a bus house." (This was me hoping he was referring to a toy one- because he does have a Hot Wheels RV). But Vinny was quick to clarify, "No, a real one, like that!" as he points to one parked in a driveway, "I want to go camping in it."

"Vinny, I'm not going to put that on your Christmas list. It costs too much money." He has certainly grown quickly wise in the ways of the world, as his reply was swift, "Oh, well, then can I call grandma?"  Like any respectable mom, I put him on the phone with her. She had a good laugh as well, and then I had to actually explain to Vinny that grandma can't afford one either, but that maybe we'll try to borrow one and go camping some time soon. Seriously... where do kids get this stuff?

On a completely different topic, I noticed something about myself today. I like to think of myself as having high self-esteem, but I guess I really don't in some ways. It is like I don't think of myself as good company for some reason. It is probably leftover from a childhood where I was made fun of a lot and often ended up feeling like the "pity" friend, whom people hung out with because they felt bad for me. I think sometimes I accidentally still fall into that mindset, even though I know its not true.

When I picked Vinny up from school, he kept asking to see his friend Tyler. I said that he had to do homework, but he asked if he could see Tyler when he finished his homework. Considering that I had no plans to see friends this afternoon, my answer was, "Um,  I don't know, we'll see." That pacified him for the time being, but as he was wrapping up his homework, he started in on it again. "Can we go to the park with Tyler?"  So, I decided to take a long shot at the chance that Tyler's mom might want to join me at the park, and I sent her a text. I really enjoy Tyler's mom, so I was sort of hoping she'd say yes too, but in the back of my head I was thinking, "I don't know- it is so last minute. I hope she doesn't think I'm rude for springing this on her." Vinny and I lucked out! She did want to go. So we finished homework and I finished pre-preparing dinner, and left for the park.

We had a very nice time sitting at the park, feeding our babies (she has a baby a month younger than Tiana), consoling each other over the mutually grieved loss of sleep and other life-with-newborn woes, and watching our boys be boys- playing a semi-tackle version of tag, finding big sticks, sliding down poles, and racing to the top of the playground. We stayed until it was almost too dark to see our kids anymore (darn daylight savings) and then headed home. Later, she commented on my fb to say "Thanks for inviting me."  I was touched. Thanks for inviting her? I was so grateful she had come! I guess I never thought that other people might feel like me- wanting friendships and happy to be thought of first once in a while. Perhaps I should let my guard down and take initiative more often. It is just so nice to have friends.

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