Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who Are You and What Have You Done with My Daughter?

My 11-year-old is a bit of a flibberty gibbet, so when she announced that she wanted to attend camp this summer, I gently discouraged her. And by "gently discouraged," I mean that I stated firmly, "no way, kid." I proceeded to list her recent transgressions, including but not limited to UNMADE BED, UNKIND WORDS TO YOUR SISTERS, NOT LEAVING A NOTE WHEN YOU TAKE OFF ON YOUR BIKE, and NOT HELPING OUT AROUND THE HOUSE. Then I mentioned her past transgressions: falling out of a tree and breaking her arm when she was 8, getting lost at the sea life center when she was 4, and toddling out of view at the park when she was a baby. I also mentioned that she's only eleven, has never been away from home, and would become terribly homesick, when I may or may not have actually meant that Mommy would miss you too much if you were gone for an entire week.

Thus began a campaign of responsibility designed to prove to me that she is deserving of swimming in a lake, riding a horse, and sitting near a blazing fire. She began making her bed every morning, preparing breakfast for the family, and STARTING MY COFFEE. She and her friends set up a successful lemonade stand down on the main road. Her entrepreneurial spirit kindled, she typed up a flyer requesting odd jobs and rode her bike throughout our neighborhood distributing them to all the retired couples who might need some cheap labor. Sure enough, people started calling and putting her to work weeding their gardens and picking up trash and trimming raspberry bushes and sweeping decks. In one week, she earned $60!

After an entire season of playing soccer without making a single goal, she transformed into a scoring machine. She volunteered to take the twins outside and play with them. She asked her dad if he needed any help with yardwork. She asked me if I needed any help with housework. When we said sure! she completed her tasks without complaining. SHE ASKED PERMISSION BEFORE CUTTING HER OWN BANGS.

Our daughter convinced us that she is mature enough to handle a week away from home.

Miss Responsibility, waiting to board the bus to summer camp

Dinner last night: spaghetti and meatballs

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Exactly three years ago:


Katherine said...

So, that's what it takes to make your children responsible. Now I just need my son to ask for a week away. Actually, I don't need that. I'm dreading the time when that happens.

Unknown said...

What a sweet child! I can't get my husband to do those things - do you think if I offer to send him to camp that would work? Seriously, I bawled as soon as I read this because it reminded me of when my eldest went to his first week-long sleep-away camp (Boy Scouts) the summer after fifth grade and when he came home his voice had changed. That was eight years ago and I still can't think about it without crying. Ugh. Need therapy much?

Karen Mortensen said...

Good for her. Wish more kids were like her. Hope she had a wonderful time.
Can she come to my house when she gets back?

MrsM said...

Oh I love that girl, I'm so proud of her. She looks really cute in that photo too. Do you think she would rub off on mine if I mailed her a plane ticket??

LisaDay said...

Good for her. I hope she has a great time and Mommy is OK, too.


Karen M. Peterson said...

Wow. When my mom felt I wasn't being responsible enough. I usually spent about 3 days doing chores and then went back to wearing her down.

I hope your daughter's having an amazing time!

Heather said...

It's amazing what they can do when they put their mind to it.

I am always so stunned at the way my 11 year old daughter can turn it on or off!

I hope she has a great time and retains some of her responsibility!

Michele said...

Bless her little heart. I hope she has an amazing week.

Stephanie Faris said...

Awww. And how great that she learned that if she wants something bad enough, she needs to work toward it and that work will pay off in the end!

Heather~sheaaa6 said...

Oh I so sympothize with you. I went through this same decision.....although my husband actually told me I "had" to let him(my first born 11 year old, who has never been away from home for more then a weekend) go. I cried for 3 days....then I was at least able to see pictures through their website and I saw him smiling and having a blast! =] I got the biggest hug when he got off that bus......and he told me he wants to go again next year.....ugh....lots of prayer till then.
Hope she has a great week. =]

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

I stopped reading after the coffee comment -- that would have been more than enough good deeds for me.