Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Growing Up, or The Babysat Babysits the Babysitter's Babies (and Gets Married!)

Every few pages, I pause and hope for silence. The little voices in this dark tent have been seriously debating critical choices for over an hour now. Should we go down that abandoned mine shaft? Or not? Now, after a long, fun day with my little buddies I'm ready to leave the world of children and return to the adults. As a teen whose parents' friends all have younger kids, I find myself straddling these two worlds often.

Now, after waiting a few moments to make sure their sleep is sound, I tiptoe over sleeping bags and do my best to silence the obnoxiously loud tent zipper. The river rushes nearby and I successfully escape to the nearby cabin where the Clark parents, whom we’re vacationing with, and my parents, are playing cards.

My teen years, like most people’s, weren’t always the best of times, but I get nostalgic for those summer nights in the tent and cabin. The Clark kids—Sarah, Peter, Becky and Daniel—who made many memories with us at my Grandpa’s river cabin are all grown up now.

The youngest, Sarah, the one I call Little Fred, just graduated from high school. Are those little hands that could barely help make the solar system mural on the back fence during my self-run summer camp, really off to Gonzaga this fall?

Peter, or Pedro -- a nickname I gave him because he always wanted to help with my Spanish homework -- is now a junior at SPU, my alma mater, and a Peer Advisor, just like I was.

Becky, who loved the Pocahontas sound track and candy salad just graduated from Pepperdine and married a Brian of her own!

And I can still see the eldest, Daniel, trying out his favorite Power Ranger moves, a show he made me watch more times than I'd like to admit. Now he lives on his own with his new puppy and works as a bartender and server. I guess it shouldn't surprise me so much...He is 24.

But this summer I have been surprised by how much they all have grown up as I've attended a graduation party, a shower and a wedding. On a couple of occasions these kids also babysat my kids. It all brought so many memories flooding back.

Clark kids, you all have a very special place in my heart. I sure wish we could find that time capsule we buried at Grandpa's cabin. I bet it would bring back even more memories....


Anonymous said...

This was so well written! You do have a gift. I'm sorry that your teen years didn't have more happiness. That part made me sad!

I Love you,

Anonymous said...

This made me tear up. I wish we could have found that time capsule as well, those we're wonderful times (even though I was really young). Thanks for sharing your life and your kids lives with me!
Love, Little Fred