Rapunzel, Rapunzel, I bet you regret your asymmetrically shaved haircut now

A couple days, I told girl child that I would write her a short story, something funny and a bit weird to entertain her.  A couple hours later, I had my wish from a recent post granted that someone would come take my children away for a camping experience I was not involved in.  Well, sort of granted.  They only took one child, the female, but that puts me at a fifty percent success rate which is not half bad.

But now I'm sitting down to write her a story and I'm a little stumped.  I started with, "There once was an almost teenage girl who, like, totally abandoned her mother and deeply regretted it."

Of course, I deleted that and began again.

"The girl was born in 2004 and began her travels a mere twelve years later.  She was light hearted and happy, glad to be facing a future on her own two feet, but she did not know that while she cheerfully skipped away from her childhood home, the woman who had provided her with all she needed to make her travels possible was wasting away from this vale of tears."

Or not.

"The girl startled with fear.  It would be hard to say which she was more afraid of; that she hurt the only woman who cared for her or that that woman would hurt her back."

No, no, sorry. That's getting a little dark.

Anybody else want to wrap their children in bubble wrap and install them permanently in the living room so that they will always be safe and can not go out into the scary world yet, at the same time, want to go hide from them in the basement with a book and a bottle of wine by the laundry machines where they would never think to look? 

I usually am pretty good at balancing the fears that are normal and identifying the crazy (eventually) but even when I think, 'yes, that is a totally insane thought,' I still have to work very hard at letting go.  All while keeping a totally neutral expression on my face for the childs, so that they do not see the underpinning neuroticism that is fundamental to my decision making.

Relatively speaking, the childs are free range.  We live in a small city with a high crime rate but considering that in our neighborhood someone experiencing a psychotic break in reality is just as likely to walk into our backyard as anywhere else, there isn't much reason to hold them back from traveling about on their own.    

All of this doesn't stop girl child from rolling her eyes at me and saying, 'Yes, Mother Gothel,' when I make a small request for her to stop by someplace with wi-fi and check in once in awhile.

Oh great, now I'm the bad guy.

But here's my deal with camping and why I think it's good for the childs to go even though I really don't want them to.  Outdoor life is, as the Internet tells me, really healthy even though nature is violent and cruel.  It's sort of the bears but mostly the storms. Big dramatic storms with wind and lightening can and do cause bodily harm. Camping is just so rife with the opportunity to be caught unsheltered in some sort of rage-y weather.  I don't think this is an irrational fear.  I just think that when the risk is weighed with what camping can offer (see Internet: outdoors is healthy), it's an acceptable risk.

It's cool to camp in bubble wrap, right?

We may not be tornado alley here, but we do have short lived burst storms throughout the hot months - hail, plow winds, lightening.  Just last week our spruce in the front yard lost the top half during a storm (was it a microburst, plow wind, or almost tornado - there is a debate - but it destroyed hundred of trees around the city), and, as it took out a power line on the way down, we were without electricity for three days.  So that's us almost getting fifty feet of spruce tree to the face and a power line zinging about without ever having to leave home.  What happens if you are out in the backwoods and don't have a handy dandy house to protect you?  I think tents are just roomy and colourful body bags.  Or bear burritos.

Without electricity, by the way, it was kind of like we were camping at home.  I didn't like it.

Regarding our tree out front, we're all devastated that it had to be taken down all the way.  It was a good tree, that provided tons of shade for our house and backyard (yes, it was so big it shaded the yard on the other side of the house... or is that our house is just so small?)  Global warming is being felt much more in our house.

In a necessarily epic act, The Man borrowed a fire truck with a hundred foot aerial ladder and my brother-in-law, a professional tree guy, came by with his chain saw to take down the remainder of the tree.  A couple of guys, a tall unsteady tree, a chainsaw, the impression that emergency assistance was already on the scene... what could go wrong?  The whole endeavor was fraught with opportunities for traumatic hilarity.  The neighbors brought out lawn chairs to watch. For awhile, we had a little hobo meet up on the front sidewalk where bets were placed on whether or not we were going to bumble and take out the house or the truck.  It was nearly universally agreed that, at the very least, the power line would be yanked down again.


To general disappointment (except the neighbor directly next door who has lived under the shadow of that tree for decades and, of course, us) the tree was expertly dismembered and came down perfectly without causing damage, except for some wood dust, or man glitter, came down into our bowls of ice cream, which the childs and I were enjoying while spectating. 

What is left is a twenty foot high stump.  The Man wanted to take that down as well, but I asked him to leave it for just a little bit to see if I could come up with some ideas of how to use it. 

And then girl child gave me an idea.

We do have to build her her own room.  And she does like to call me Mother Gothel.

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So, a story for girl child: "Once upon a time, since a certain young girl loved camping so much, she ignored the life lesson that was the tree in her front yard, and as her karmatic reward, she was made to live outdoors at the top of the stump of the former tree, in the urban wilderness.  Also, she stopped rolling her eyes at her Mother Gothel."

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