Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(Not So) Clean and Sober - Updated

We're crossing a new frontier at the K.Line household: My baby (aka the 9-year old) will leave for sleep away camp at the end of this week. She'll be away for 13 glorious days and nights, the first 8 of which I'll spend at home on "staycation" (don't you loathe how overused this word is??).

This has been a long time in coming, arguably - um - 9 years, but I've worked particularly proactively over the last year to encourage M, for her sake and mine, to branch out and live freely at art camp. At first, she wasn't so sure. The idea of being in the beauty of nature surrounded by a zillion kids of her own age with swimming was appealing. But the thought of going to a new place without parents made her nervous. The deal breaker (assisted by burgeoning maturity over the last year of school) was learning that, for 2 weeks, she'd have a good shot at scoring more than one dessert after dinner and avoiding showers - plus no parental nagging! That, I'm happy to say, cinched it entirely.

Many parent bloggers (the mommy bloggers and the rest of us who just happen to blog and have kids) have posted recently about their melancholy feelings re: the encroaching maturity of their tiny tots. This, my friends, is not the tale you'll hear from me. I could not be more thrilled about M's independence, about her urge to find freedom in new experience, about the freakin' time away from parenting that I will enjoy while she's away enjoying camp.

This is the longest in a decade (let's include the joy of pregnancy for the purposes of this post) that I'll have gone without being responsible for the care and feeding and watering and nagging of my precious child. I don't have parents close by who can help me on a regular (or even semi-regular) basis. My in laws are of no assistance whatsoever. I have no siblings close by - no family of any sort. All of my parent help, such as it is, comes from friends who are already overscheduled by their own parenting or busy careers or general life responsibilities. Oh, and that for which I pay: daycare and (now) camp.

It ain't cheap - let me tell you - but what price freedom?

Here's the kicker. I've been dreaming and planning and bitching and preparing and renovating for months now to position myself to enjoy this staycation in my beautiful garden with fine food and great booze in style. I went to critical lengths to get the garden reno done. I've spent money I should save (arguably) to make the back yard fab-u-lous. Lord knows, between the steep costs of camp and the garden there is no money to go on hols elsewhere. The weather, heretofore hideous, seems to be cooperating now.

But freakin' bloody hell, the city has chosen this week to start a garbage strike (the last one - deeply etched into my memory - lasted 16 hideous days) as has the union that runs the LCBO (the main licensing body for alcohol in this province). You got it peeps - my brief reprieve is threatened by stench (you know I live downtown) and sobriety. Ah, that's a one-two punch.

Let's look at the bright side: I've stocked up on some wine and a couple of LCBO outlets will be run by management till the strike resolves (you can bet they'll be defiant picket crossing there!). I'm going to assume that my lovely neighbours and those who live across the alley behind my backyard - plus all the random people in the neighbourhood who have access to that alley - will opt not to garbage dump anywhere near my beautiful urban oasis. I am optimistic. After all that's what the city streets and parks are for. (Sorry, brief relapse of cynicism.)

I'm going to imagine that LCBO management will keep restaurants stocked and/or they don't go dry in the first week of the strike (how could they) which means, at least, that I'll still enjoy some lovely lunches and dinners out - if not on patios next to heaps of garbage.

I'm going to have a good opportunity to confront my dependencies and cultivate bramacharya.

I am grateful for all the things I do have and the time off. I'm going to learn just how much freedom is a matter of attitude.

Wish me luck. Okay?

Update: The LCBO strike was resolved at the 11th hour! Seriously. And, according to the news reports, there is practically no wine on the shelves anywhere today. Well, not so clean and not so sober...


  1. sleepaway camp, boarding school ...why do these things have to COST so much?

  2. Glad to hear the booze situation is resolved ... here's hoping the garbage one comes to a quick and tidy close!

  3. Maybe a good oportunity to send some botles from here.... ;) lol

    Take care


  4. Great post. I know when our daughter got to the age when we could leave her home alone it was like some part of me could breathe again.

  5. Oh, I agree with WendyB, but at least the sobriety thing has been resolved and the shelves will be restocked. Hope the other part clears up quickly too. Enjoy your time.

  6. Thank goodness the strike was resolved. That was a close call!;-)

  7. Love it when they go away! I'm all for independence - have a fabulous indulgent time home alone - only shame is you've got no twiglets! Should have preordered!

  8. THIS IS MAJOR!!! i am so excited for you!!! well, and this is good for your daughter, so i am excited for her too.

    i am RELIEVED that you already have booze on-hand. i certainly store more booze than bottled water, and i think your little diddy above proves why i am smart to do so.

    and the garbage thing?!!? HORRENDOUS!! that is so nasty! i have heard of awful garbage strikes in nyc. ewwwwwwwww! i hope the strike is short (and sweet, if at all possible).

    oh, this is good. you are going to be one new and refreshed woman with GLORIOUS FREEDOM from kid responsibility! wooohooooooooooo!!!

  9. WOW. Two glorious weeks of freedom! I absolutely adore my children, but that sounds like heaven. And I'm with you in rejoicing in their growing independence. Bring it on!
    P.S. Let me know if you need me to send you some booze.

  10. I'm already rejoicing in the little steps my daughter takes towards independence (like, erm, being able to amuse herself for a couple of minutes while I shower).

    And that was indeed a close call re: the strike! I used to try valiantly to horde wine, beer and gin in the event of such a disaster, but never managed to keep it for long.

  11. Wendy: Trust me, the booze has been flowing freely since that challenge was resolved. I hit the store practically every day (what, I'm nervous!) The g strike, still very much a reality I regret to inform you.

    Tessa: I know. What's up with that?

    Sal: The projected cool temps and rain for the next 3 days bode well for keeping the smell in check. If you can believe it, the city has opened "temp stations" for dumping. Many of them are in concrete sections of parks. The community groups are UP IN ARMS. Lord, I hope this resolves well and soon.

    Seeker: Aren't you sweet.

    Ricky: She just left today. I'm in that couple of hours of adjustment mode! :-) Here's hoping the rain stops.

    Thanks Mardel. Ah, city living can suck.

    Bel: I know. You see I have my priorities straight (in a scary way).

    Kate: Isn't it a travesty :-) I'm going to hunt some down!

    Janelle: You make me laugh! Let's just say I'm typing with a drink in one hand :-)

    Janet: You are so sweet. Now there is def enough booze! Can you resolve a garbage strike, by any chance??

    Iris: Oh, I remember those days. Feeling free because you get 5 minutes to pee :-) Fun times!

  12. Still getting used to Bratty being away for 2 days once every 8 weeks. We miss her but enjoy the peace, then feel guilty for enjoying the peace. Then miss her again. To have Boo away at the same time might kill me. Like you, probably wouldn't every get a chance to try it.

    Hope the garbage thing resolves soon.

    Thankgod you got the wine situation sorted!!!

  13. H: You've perfectly articulated the back and forth: so grateful for space, so guilty for being grateful, she's cute isn't she, why isn't she here, oh wait - pass the G&T.