my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Thursday, January 25, 2007


This blog is sure dusty!

Sorry about no updates, folks. I guess I just got out of the habit...

Well. This is a good place to update about the France trip.

The France trip is off. Let me start at the beginning... way back when G was maybe 1 or 2, my sister gave me France on Foot and said she'd love to do a walking trip of France with me when G is(was) 5. France has all these great walking trails, called Grandes Randonees, all over. They're well marked and not parallel to roads (so you wouldn't be inhaling exhaust the whole way). There are a zillion maps of them, too. I thought it sounded great.

Fast-forward to when he was 5. She decided he was too young, and that we should go the next year (2006). She also said he needed to have more overnights away from me so that he could tolerate me being gone for 3 weeks. (Is the word "bossy" popping up in your mind? Isn't that interesting?)

So I started scheduling overnights for him--sleepovers with friends, long weekends with his Aunties and with Dharma and TGF, and we started saving up for the trip and scheduling it. My mom pops up and says she'll pay to fly all the kids over and then leave Paris for Corbusier's chapel at Rondchamps, something she's wanted to see for ten years. I waver in my resolve to have G stay with her for a full week, as a day seems to exhaust her. We start moving the dates around--maybe he'll stay with the Aunties for 1.5 weeks and the kids will be with us for 1.5 weeks. We have a hard time finding a place big enough for us all in Paris that's affordable. We have a hard time scheduling it, between my church conference's annual meeting in May and her tax-returns deadline in April. Finally, she says, "Would you have enough saved up and be more comfortable going in September?" Yes, I say, with a sigh of relief.

She calls 2 days later and says she doesn't want to interrupt my niece's first year of high school (this fall) and that she's just going to take her kids in May. I find myself not surprised at all. We have had other conflicts with this trip--she has been concerned that I'm not walking 5 miles a week (no, playing ice hockey doesn't count) and that I won't be able to keep up. I'm concerned that she'd want to walk so fast that we couldn't enjoy the countryside.

I also realize, after she calls, that perhaps now is just not the best time to take G to Europe. I think of the things I've enjoyed doing in France--touring museums, walking the Eiffel Tower, relaxing in cafes, enjoying good restaurants--and none of them are particularly suitable for an energetic 7-year-old who hasn't been drugged. My sights turn toward Disneyland, someplace we've gone together and totally enjoyed, the both of us. I start planning that trip.

One night soon after, I ask him the open-ended question: If we were to go on vacation, where would you want to go? He asks (he is so my kid), "Will we go whereever I say?" I say No, but I'll listen to your idea and decide. He remembers a place with "lots of little houses." We brainstorm and come up with the Lair of the Bear, where we went in the summer of 2005. Oh yeah!!! We would both enjoy that. There are planned, scheduled activities for the kids, a pool and plenty of hiking as well as opportunities for downtime for me, and no dishes to wash or meals to prepare. And with what I've saved for France, we can afford it easily! I contact the Lair registrar and she reacts enthusiastically--she'll send off forms as soon as they're available.

Camp Oski, here we come! Go Bears!



At 3:30 PM, January 25, 2007, Blogger Dharma said...

You loved Lair of the Bears as I recall. I love it because it's not DL - the canon of commercialism. Fabulous, a choice that makes us all happy. Yes, yes, I know making me happy is far from the point.


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