Childhood–Don’t Plug the Drain


This week has been a big one for me. Emotionally. As layers stack up. I’ve sat to blog about it several times and stop, distracted from life’s activities. I have a bit of time now, and thought I’d just type out some of my thoughts.

My son bought his first car this week. He paid cash, and sold an item from his stash to pay for new tires, license, registration and insurance. Trouble is, he doesn’t have a driver’s license. Oregon Law says not until the middle of March. It happened so fast. I blinked, and he owned a car.  I didn’t have anything do to with it. He found the lead, talked to the folks, found out the history, got a mechanic to check it out, test drove it, and I literally slept on the drive over with his dad to pick it up. How can he do such a big thing without my help?


I have seen it with the every day things. I shouldn’t be surprised. His interest in science and biology grows. He wanted to make something called Elephant Toothpaste. I don’t really understand. However, he needed specific ingredients, blended together. In the photo above, hard to see, is what might look like a grey glob with pine needles. That’s what it does after the white stage. When trying to find the ingredients, he remembered we have several in the garage from the chemistry set. He wasn’t sure which was which. And Then. He jumped up, lightbulb burning in his eyes, and said – The Periodic Table!! He knew which elements he needed, so he created them out of what we had. He had to buy food grade hydrogen, and blend and mix a few together to make the other substances, all to make this pile of goo, that can light on fire, at around midnight one night. Hey likes to do experiments in the middle of the night. I wake up to them in the morning. How can he be doing this? Learning? Without me? Shouldn’t he be asking for my help? I just watched his Chemistry Lecture from the 101 Series. My eyes actually started going in circles in opposite direction as Mr. Olson lost me, but had Nate in rapt attention. Wonder if that’s why he doesn’t ask me?


Speaking of middle of the night —  He was told that the applications to be a worker at summer camp needed to be in by a certain day. The leader had life happen and didn’t get the application to him. He was able to get it on line, after 11 pm and filled it out. I was vaguely sleepily aware that he was filling out some sort of form. He has filled out all of his own job applications. The other day he was filling out two – just for fun. What? Anyway, it must have been a good thing, as I found out on Facebook in the morning that he was accepted to the camp for a month session. How did that happen? What did he write? How did he spell? What did he tell them?? I asked him, his short reply-  I told them the truth of my work history. Simple. How is he doing this without asking me? Didn’t I have to sign something? Agree? Review his application? Nope. He’s in for first session – June into July. Hopefully as a lifeguard /pool help at a huge camp in Central Oregon. (Younglife)

And it hit me. What he said two years ago. He came back from middle school Wyldlife camp with the declaration that he wanted to be a Camp Director in his adult life. I was a bit shocked. I thought we had burned him out from our years in Central Oregon and here at the coast playing Camp Counselor to all of our friends and visitors. We tease about it. Our home is actually called Camp Mil Mar. There is a sign on the road. He didn’t want to go to be kitchen help, he wanted to be outdoors.

So – he has spent the last two years taking up every odd job possible with construction and landscape maintenance. He worked as a landscapers helper last summer on a golf resort, in the home section. He has worked for several people in demolition and building. He’s worked to be proficient in small engine repair and auto mechanics. He wanted to stay out of the kitchen sink.

Last fall he took the step to get his lifeguard registration. He’s been working as a Lifeguard all fall/winter at our pool. He is set to be trained to give swim lessons this month. He’s done ocean rescues with out surf team and is a great little (tall) surfer. I think the camp will be lucky to have, not only a waterman with some skills, but a man of God.

He loves the Lord. Loves Truth. He’s not interested in relationships. He says they will side track him from his goals. Goals first, girls later. I get the feeling that the girl he finally finds as a soul mate, will be the one he marries. I don’t see him in the dating game. He has ideas of becoming an emergency response/natural disaster nurse. A marine biologist. An oceanographer. A camp director. So we keep plugging through the higher math and sciences together. We march on.

I was talking to my husband yesterday on a car trip of the emotions. Everyone keeps asking him at work how he feels about his son owning a car. Of moving away from the summer. I get the same questions. I’m a bit numb and in shock of how quickly this is moving.

The only way I could explain it is with a sink full of dirty dish water. The sink is full, but you can’t see or hear if it is draining. It is slow. You put your hand by the drain to make sure it isn’t blocked and to feel the water moving. Maybe several times. Sometimes even causing suction to get it working faster. Then, all of a sudden, the water level drops, and at about 1-3 inches deep, it starts swirling, loud and quick – down the drain. There isn’t anything your hand could do to keep the water in the sink without intentionally plugging up the drain.

And that is my goal right now. Don’t plug the drain. Don’t plug the drain. As I see the swirling water empty and know we are at the bottom of the sink, I just don’t want to plug the drain.


About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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3 Responses to Childhood–Don’t Plug the Drain

  1. Beautifully written, Angie. I wish they would slow down too.

  2. taunyasplace says:

    Great. Now I’m crying. Can’t they just stay little. The thought of him being gone…moving out…reminds me just how close I am to this myself. I’m not ready. My heart aches at the thought. Love you my friend.

  3. El Guapo says:

    I can’t imagine any of this is easy for you.
    But after all you’ve taught him, think of what he’ll be giving to the world!

    Congratulations on growing what sounds like a well adjusted, intelligent , capable young man!

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