Reunion – Part VII: Eavesdropping

Our final night in Tennessee.  DQ and her troupe had moved into the loft of our cabin.  Mom was already snoring away in the downstairs bedroom. i was sacked out on the sofa.  It had been a rather eventful weekend, and i had a lot of shit to munch over inside my head.  Despite being very tired, i couldn’t sleep.

i didn’t want to eavesdrop.  In fact, i put a pillow over my head at one point to try to block out the sound of the voices drifting down from the upstairs loft.  DQ, BJ and the little critter, DQ, III were camped in the double bed, while DQ, III and Doogie had settled on the twin bed and trundle-bed.  It was almost midnight, and the four-year old was asleep right away.  It was close quarters up there for the five of them.  They were trying to keep their voices down, but the acoustics of the cabin made it impossible for me to stop listening.

At first?  They were horsing around —  BJ giving Doogie grief for ripping a fart, while the rest of them giggled.  DQ complaining that BJ had stolen the sheets.  Some comments i couldn’t hear, followed by more shushed giggles.  They were camping.  This is just what you do in close quarters.

It took a turn for the more serious.  DQ explaining to her seventeen year old daughter that she needed to tone down her posts on facebook.

DQ:  I know you’re crazy about JT, but some of the things you post…  It’s too much!  Do you want to be one of those girls? Everyone can see it.

DQ, III:  It’s not that bad!  I’ve seen a lot worse stuff on facebook.

DQ:  Just because your friends post TMI doesn’t make it right!

BJ:  Tweetering?  Is that what it’s called?  You gotta tweeter that you love him or else he won’t know?  You’re just making sure everyone else knows!

DQ:  We took away your phone and internet before, and if you keep posting that “I love you, Baby-Boy” crap, we can take it away again.

Parenting.  Honest-to-God parenting.  And a family.  A family that enjoys being together.

Maybe not my approach to parenting – and maybe not my priorities.  But they are engaged.  Tracking.  Paying attention.  Being adults.

When we were all packing up after breakfast at the Gathering Cabin, we were sorting out shared costs for the weekend.  i paid for the three cabins in advance.  Once I had the final body count, i did a straight calculation to figure out what folks would need to contribute — and it worked out to $40 per adult per night stayed, with no charge for the kids.  Since the younger cousins (DQ’s generation) tend to have less disposable income, i offered them all a bit of a discount.

DQ said she’d brought cash, and was prepared to pay for Doogie, too.  i told her Doogie was covered – the least i could do for having made a rather serious misjudgment.  Rather than take the discounted rate, she paid me in full.

pic found here

26 thoughts on “Reunion – Part VII: Eavesdropping

  1. I am a terrible eavesdropper — in restaurants, at concerts, on the bus, at the store. I have found much to amuse me in that pastime. I’m glad that you found out something beneficial — actual parenting is a good thing. And it is so wonderful when people actually pay their way.

    Sounds like your reunion was a resounding success.

    • i enjoy that game in airports — listening to conversations behind me and then trying to figure out what people look like before turning around to check.

      yes, i’d have to say it was a successful reunion. i know these posts haven’t been all that entertaining, but they are for me to work through it. one more to go – epilogue. and i may be done blogging. still sorting that part out. will see how it feels on the other side.

  2. Huh…you learned something new about them…for all the times I’ve thought that they are a bit low may just be income wise but parenting wise, eh may not be perfect but it sounds like they are very aware of what their 17yr old is doing. That speaks volumes since so many other parents have no clue. I love that she paid full price and didn’t take the discount..It must have floored you a bit.
    And I love the Doogie story…It’s so hard not to make quick judgements when you know the friends their hanging out with. With him around, here’s hoping that Mom’s work gets done a bit faster.

    • you’ve been reading long enough to understand why i was a bit surprised. through the years, there have been many bad decisions – well, things i would never have considered. a manipulative streak as well. at the last reunion 3 years ago? the 14 year old had been recently busted for trying to have sex with older men she met on line…. fortunately, they intervened on that one and actually sent her for some counseling. but overall? delightfully surprised.

  3. It warms the cockles to hear about this. DJ sounds great, and it’s so nice to hear about a family that has real conversations, and parents who still actually parent their kids.

    • as a relatively new visitor to The Park, the shift in my perception may not be all that apparent to you. for the past four years, much of my blogging about shit going down in The Park has been based on the ridiculously stooopid things that DQ and BJ have done – many bad damn decisions, with consequences. this was eye-opening for me…

      as for parenting? i would have never allowed the 16 year old to have a car without a job. she got a speeding ticket and lost her license within a few weeks. they spend money like they use toilet paper – with no income. BJ still does demolition derby – with money they can’t throw away, and after having a broken back due to a construction accident a few years ago. the list is fairly endless. which is why i was so surprised…

  4. I second the comments about how great it is to see parents involved and caring about what their daughters are doing online, but it only works until they doscover passswords and basic encryption!

    • and let’s not forget GPS tracking systems to put on the bumpers of an automobile! i was of the “Ronald Regan” school of parental involvement — “Trust, but Verify”.

  5. I love “I’ve seen a lot worse.” My favorite rational ever for bad behavior. Can’t wait for my daughters to try it on for size. Your attempt at penance failed. It’s the attempt that matters, dear.

    Blogging is pretty addictive. Withdrawals within 14 days. You’ll see.

    • but i like that excuse. as long as i’m not “six sigma” someone else can take the heat for being outrageous!

      still don’t know about blogging. need to work through it…

  6. *sigh* too much to take in, sugar! family surprises and then i may be done blogging. still sorting that part out. will see how it feels on the other side. SSWEET MARY SUNSHINE, i am about to faint xoxoxoxoxox

    (i’m hoping if you do walk away UB is right!!!! i would miss you more than i can say.)

    • i started this four years ago as therapy – work through the familial and personal demons. got much of it sorted out – although god knows i’m still a fucking mess. always have been, always will be. just not sure whether all the ‘hoarking’ is really worth doing. feel like my writing sucks worse when things are going well – and they are going VERY well… will keep reading other blogs regardless of whether i write or not… i’d miss y’all too much if i gave up THAT!

  7. I’m speechless.
    I know the many issues you’ve had over the years with DQ & BJ.
    Yeah, it may not be your way (or mine) to deal with the situation, but as you said, they were engaged, taking a stand and yes … parenting!
    And Doogie? What a pleasant surprise!

    Now, what’s this about “i may be done blogging” ??????
    I’m with Savannah …. I may faint!
    Or pout.

    • i’ll wrap the ‘reunion’ tales up tomorrow or later this week. but the weekend in tennessee shifted my thinking substantially. and that’s a good thing. it also put some patches on fractured parts of the family structure. maybe not permanent, but enough to keep things together.

      regardless of whether i write any more, i’ll still read and visit! can’t quit you guys!

    • the blog was personal therapy – and it may have served its purpose. not that i’m ‘fixed’ but the sorting of the family demons may be done, at least momentarily. and i’m not sure i have anything else to say! will see how it feels after i get the last post together from the reunion…

  8. My wife eavesdrop like this… I don’t in fact I often drift out of conversations I should be in.. the other day my daughter was stood next to me saying “Dad. DAD! You’re not listening are you?”… “Sorry I thought you were talking to your brother”. “He went out 10 mins ago”… “Did he?” My grip on reality is tenous at best! 🙂

    • i was trying really hard not to listen. but it was so quiet… and i have been known to drop out of my own conversations from time to time. often during meetings at work…. oy….

  9. I’ve read this post from the bottom up- I think it contains all the emotions of real like written with such great skill. Thank you -it’s been fun! When I was little i did this with my children’s Bble and that first chapet didn’t give me much incentive to read on. Thanks for a fantastic read!

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