Small Talk on Big Subjects by Robin Gorman Newman
My big, little guy raised some challenging points recently, and for the moment, they stopped me in my typically talkative tracks.
Marc and I gave him a computer curfew one night last week (9pm), and he got crazy upset.
This morning he asked if we will ever go to Mohonk again? He wants to.
He also said he wonders what it would be like to have a little sister.
Yikes…nothing prepares you for this hard stuff.
If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, you might have seen my recent post asking for advice on the technology front. The responses were interesting….essentially ranging from pick your fights to permitting 2-3 hours/day to making him earn computer time.
While Seth balked initially at the computer curfew we imposed….he’s actually accepting of it now….and while he still adores his MAC laptop……we bought him a new toy vehicle this past weekend that he’s promptly turned into his version of a secret service car, and he’s back to playing with his beloved firetrucks, police cars, etc. and setting up crash sites in our living room and hallway. I have to step gingerly over his Hotwheels and Matchbox troop, but I love seeing him use his imagination and get down on his hands ‘n knees, as his pretend siren signals resound throughout the house. Our pet cockatiel Smokey starts chirping loudly in response, and it becomes quite the serenade.
Mohonk Mountain House is a gorgeous family-friendly resort in New Paltz, NY where we have vacationed since Seth was a baby. It was an annual August trip we took with my father, sister and her family. It’s become like a summer home to Seth, and this year, due to my father’s challenged heath, we will not be going. Marc, Seth and I will likely take some other vacation, perhaps with another family whose son is friends with Seth, which would be fun. We don’t know as yet. We are exploring. But, whatever we do, it won’t be Mohonk, and Seth knows it. I actually look forward to new experiences and creating other memories to come. But, I fully understand Seth’s attachment to a beautiful place that he has come to navigate with his trusty flashlight at night, whether “patrolling” on the boat dock or going to the decadent Smores bonfire. Or spending endless hours at the small man made beach, capturing salamanders. Or making friends at the kids camp and taking hikes around the grounds. Our years at Mohonk were priceless, and they will remain in our heart, as we move forward. Isn’t that the essence of what life is?! But….not so easily grasped by a 9 year old.
On the question of having a little sister, my response to him was….Do you think you’d like a little sister? He said he didn’t know. I asked if his friend Patrick likes having a younger sister. He said he didn’t know….though he did mention how she can be annoying when she gropes for his toys. My guess is this question came up since he had just recently had a play date at Pat’s house. The subject has not arisen since. I have always felt that Seth is a content only child. He’s social, loving, caring, speaks easily with new people, etc. I don’t for a second worry about him not having a sibling. It’s not our plan to provide one….and I have every confidence that Seth will make his way in the world happily and successfully, whether he has a brother or sister or not.
So far, he’s enjoying his summer….attending Shibley Day Camp and frequenting our local pool. The warm months pass quickly, and before you know it, he’ll be in fourth grade. The older he gets, the wiser he gets. And, I’m certain other smart questions will emerge from his lips as the years go by, and I’ll do my best to put on my mom thinking cap and respond in as meaningful way as I can….even if in the moment I am speechless.