Friday, August 30, 2013

Well, That's a Parenting First...

A bunch of us went to STJ's house for a barbeque tonight. We all brought our kids and took over their house, eating and drinking and laughing, trying to forget our last crazy work week.

It was nice.

Somewhere right around dinner time, we got word that Secretary Kerry would be making an announcement, so we tuned to CNN to hear the latest official word. As you might imagine, embassy folks here are all following the story - indeed, some of us are making the story. Weird to sit around debating the "should we or shouldn't we" with people who actually have a stake in the decision. This isn't some far-off land for us - it's a couple of hours up the road, and it's a place in which everyone who works at the Embassy has been heavily involved. No matter your job at the Embassy, you're probably engaged somehow in what's going on over there - monitoring the refugee camps, monitoring the press, working to make policy, or to give the policymakers the information they need to make the decisions for the rest of us. We don't all agree on what should be done, but we all bring an informed perspective to the discussion.

So we watched, and we worried and we argued the "what-ifs," all while the kids played flashlight tag in the yard.

Late into the night, three of the boys came in and started agitating for a sleepover, but this is a weekend when we all really want our kids close by. No one knows what's going to happen, or when, so we're holding our families as close as we can even while we know we'll have to rely on each other if the whole place suddenly goes to hell.

The older kids get this. But still: they want a life-as-normal sleepover. S asked me repeatedly if my son could spend the night, and each time I said no.

"Look," he finally said, exasperated. "They can't start the bombing campaign tonight. And if they start it tomorrow, well, this could be our last night ever for a sleepover."

I'm pretty sure that's a first in the history of parenting.

(Oh. And while I gave him points for an impassioned and logical argument? I still said no. Next time, Scoots. There will be a next time, I promise.)


Becca said... [Reply]

wow, kids ideally should not have to worry about that stuff, but they do. such is the reality of the world.

Stephanie said... [Reply]

On one hand, I'm so proud of our FS kids having such knowledge of the world, but on the other it makes me sad that they have to worry about so many different things than their domestic counterparts. My daughter's going to astound her preschool class, pointing out India (where we were living) and Uganda (where her best friend currently lives) on the globe. But she also has to deal with Daddy being gone for long stretches of time.

Please. Write your own stuff.