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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Saturday Miscellany 
19th-Jun-2010 10:01 am
Hearth
* So I slept on it. And I discussed it with Elayna. And we hit upon the solution that I was too angry and frustrated last night to see, but was, of course, right in front of us the whole time: Child can just take the train back to Boston her damn self. It's $50-$70 at that time of day and that day for one person one-way. The train station is in the airport. She just has to retrieve her bag from customs, hug her grandparents goodbye, and get on the damn train. The flight gets in from Israel at 5am. There's a 6am and an 8:30am train; I'll recommend 8:30 just in case their plane is late and to give them time for breakfast. My parents' plane takes off at 10. Plenty of time. Elayna not only enjoys train travel, she'll probably really appreciate the solitude. She's taking the train to New Haven for Explo by herself just a week and a half after this, and she's excited about that.

So I will call my parents at 10 (you don't call before 10am or after 10pm) and tell them.

* I finished saraphina_marie's baby blanket last night, and it's been blocking on the dining room table. It is bright green and pretty and the cats have been curled up on the towel covering it all night, imparting cat energy to the impending baby. Just think of them as the good fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

* I need to figure out what to bring to the party today, foodwise. Cornbread, I'm pretty sure. We have lots of potatoes. We could do a potato thing.

* Surprise BPAL reviews! (Oh, and by the way, Egg Moon is the best thing ever; anyone got any to barter?
Panther Moon: Gleaming black musk, mandrake, labdanum, black ginger, benzoin, champaca, ambergris accord, myrrh, and star anise
In bottle: Whuf. That's a lot of dark.
On me: Dark, murky, bilious yellow, unpleasant. Sad! Myrrh, labdanum, ginger, and anise tend to be really good on me. Not here.
Sara Pezzini: A hint of leather and an understated vintage musk layered over the scent of lightly perspiring, honey-dusted skin.
In bottle: Leather and sweet.
On me: Very sweet. I don't get much musk. I get a very *light* honey where I'm used to getting *thick* honey, with just the afterscent of leather.
Hunter: Leonine amber, tanned hides, clove, and clary sage.
In bottle: I'm getting something sorta musty. :(
On me: Oh there we go. Leather and amber. Only the tiniest hint of sage. I'm not getting clove at all.
Marquis de Carabas: A splash of bay rum, leather, dusty black wool, massoia bark, and opium residue.
In bottle: Yep, that's bay rum.
On me: Sharp bay rum. Whuf. This is very man. A bit sinister. Which is, of course, entirely appropriate.

* Photo session with the knitted stuff later today. You'll finally get to see that first lace shawl, and then also the gunmetal-grey Blogathon one, and the scarf pattern I improvised, and yeah.

But for now, we walk to the gluten-free bakery. I can has muffin.

EDIT: So I talked to my dad. He leads with "We're just going to change our flights."
Me: "But there is a train leaving at exactly the right time. A train ticket is way cheaper than changing your flights."
Dad: "By herself?"
Me: "She's taking the train to Explo by herself on the 18th."
Dad: "Well, the train makes a lot of stops."
Me: "....exactly the same number of stops as it would make with Adam and I on it, yes."
Dad: "Will she be okay with that?"

Will she be okay with the train stopping? What is this I don't even.

Me: "She'll be fine. And she could use the solitude; you know how she can get overwhelmed and peopled out. A few hours of listening to her iPod and reading manga will be good for her."
Dad: "It's a long trip. The flight will get her in at 1."
Me: "The train will get her in at 1:01. And she'll have room to stretch."
Dad: "We'll just change our plane tickets, because you want her on that plane."
Me: "Elayna and I agree that the train is better. Also, it is much less expensive for you than paying for three train tickets and a hotel or changing your tickets."
Dad: "Well. We'll decide and I'll tell you on Tuesday."

So essentially I have offered him an ideal solution that involves no alteration of his plans and very little additional expense (if pressed, I can by the damn ticket). But if he takes me up on that, he doesn't get to be a martyr.

It amuses me how now there is zero safety concern about the puddle-jumper. He is determined, in fact, to put her on the puddle-jumper. I have no big issue with the puddle-jumper, I just think the train will be more relaxing for her. It's just fascinating to watch how their brains work. If asked, I'm sure he'd claim that there was never a safety concern about the puddle-jumper. They rewrite stuff. Fascinating!

For the record, I was flying solo when I was 12. I was out of the house starting at 14. I was out of the house for good by 16, but there wasn't much at-home between 14 and 16. I'd been making my own way in ways far more significant than travel since I was younger than Elayna is now; they know that I managed to live in totally different cities at 15 without any help from them, but they're freaking out about her taking a train by herself. When they can walk her right up to and maybe onto the train. I was hopping Greyhounds at 14.

And frankly, Elayna needs the freedom. She and I have always been very close in a way that my parents and I never were. Which is awesome, but also means that at half the parties we go to, festivals, whatever, she's hanging out with her mom. Which I love, but also I'm very aware that developmentally, she needs to be branching out. Which is why we're both excited about Explo this year - we'll miss each other like crazy, but she'll get to be away from home for three weeks, and at 15, I feel like she needs that.

It's a hard line to walk. I think Elayna is freakin' amazing and I love her and I just want to hang out with her forever. And she doesn't need to be as independent as I was at that age, but I think it would be better for her to be a little more independent than she is now. So taking the train to Explo alone was a no-brainer. And I think she'll do fine taking the train from Newark - and considering how peopled-out she'll probably be from her grandparents being Intensely! Engaged! with her for 11 days, I think it's the best possible thing for her emotionally.

ALSO EDIT: Mom called back; Elayna took the call, and very cheerfully explained how much she really actually wanted to take the train, citing an enjoyment of train travel and a need for quiet decompression time. Her chipper attitude seems to have convinced Mom that this is not a thing I am selfishly forcing Elayna into. Phone got passed to me, and I laid out all the logic; Mom's sole attempt, besides a repeat of "trains make a lot of stops", was "I worry about her having to lug her suitcase! Will they let us on the train to help her?"

Me: "...they'll check it at the desk, Mom. She won't have to handle it at all."
Mom: "Oh! Because that's what we were worried about, her hauling the heavy suitcase."
Me: "Nope, you can hand it right to the person at the counter, and they'll take it off the train for her in Boston. She never even has to touch it. She can just bring on her backpack."

I really think they just don't get how trains work. I had a book about how trains work when I was 5. It had cross-sections. It was awesome. They should've read it.

So yeah. It looks like she is taking the train from Newark to Boston. Phew. Thanks, guys.
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
19th-Jun-2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
It also gives her some decompression time between 11 days of frantic grandparent travel and being effusively welcomed home; she's likely to be in a bit of introvert shock, so that'll be good for her.
19th-Jun-2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Rather close to what I was thinking. Transition time is very desirable.

Sorry I missed this last night.
19th-Jun-2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
A most excellent plan!

On an completely different topic, I am planning a visit to Boston this summer...what should I not miss seeing? Thanks
19th-Jun-2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Depends when you're coming! There are free Boston Pops concerts in the parks this summer, and Shakespeare on the Common is doing Othello....
19th-Jun-2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
I flew from Alaska to New York state and back again, at fourteen and fifteen, unaccompanied, without nosy airport people shepherding me around. The only problem was one tight connection, and that did blow up, and I had a phone card and called home and we got everything worked out.

She'll be just fine.
19th-Jun-2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
I know... I totally have faith in her! My parents just bewilder me.
19th-Jun-2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Perhaps they are having the retroactive freakout?

Here's to dealing with them with a minimum of spoons.
19th-Jun-2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
Grandparents, and often parents, have a lot of trouble seeing children as people in their own right; have trouble not controlling and being overly protective. I have often reflected that, as horrible as it was, my mother's car accident when I was in third grade kept me from being smothered by my mother. Sounds to me like you've hit on a good plan for her, if they'll only see that.

And here's a video I just watched about a local chef who's simplifying food and making delicious results. An idea for your potatoes!
http://www.inthekitchenwithbonnie.com/signatureDish.html
(Deleted comment)
19th-Jun-2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
Your parents' "logic" makes my brain hurt... Glad it worked out. IF something is a snafu give her my cell, I am reachable 24/7, and we will fix it whatever it is should there be drama day-of. (Just tell me her return date so I can put it in my port-a-brain to be sure my cell is charged and on). *hugs*
19th-Jun-2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Sorry I missed your call.. my phone lives on vibrate in my bag.
19th-Jun-2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
I really think they just don't get how trains work. I had a book about how trains work when I was 5. It had cross-sections. It was awesome. They should've read it.

Okay, THAT made me laugh. (As did this.)
19th-Jun-2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way about my 15 year old - she is fabulous, funny as all get out, and we really enjoy doing things together. I'm going to miss her so much when she goes to camp this summer for two weeks - but it's absolutely the best thing for her. She has all her friends there and she's already so excited about going :-) My loss is her spreading her wings :-)
19th-Jun-2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
This all sounds good, except that I think she will have to lug the suitcase. Most of the Northeast Corridor Amtrak trains don't have checked baggage service.
19th-Jun-2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
when I was 15, my parents were all about 'hey, you're young and healthy; you do the heavy lifting here, ok?' when we had traveling to do.
19th-Jun-2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad to hear it all worked out!!
19th-Jun-2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
I would be so excited if I were your daughter. At that age, a few hours away from parents after a cool vacation would be a second vacation. Score!

Sleep is so good for sanity.
19th-Jun-2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
My parents -- well, my mother, anyway; it's always hard to tell with my dad -- also rewrite history, as I have discovered in the last two years.
19th-Jun-2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Hooray for sanity prevailing! Yours and Elayna's, that is. Not your parents. Because, no offense, but they are nutters.

I admit that Bree is more sheltered than I was, but even then, she's made great strides towards self-reliance recently. In the Boston area, she would have had no problem getting around. I took the MBTA by myself at 13 to the end of the lines as long as an adult would meet me. And, of course, the commuter rail to Haverhill, where my grandma would meet me so we could catch a cab to Plaistow, NH. I'd never flown until 14, but I was working and taking care of my own laundry and chores. I was pretty much self-sufficient.
However, 14-15 yr olds can travel on their own. And I totally get the need to decompress.

Good on Elayna for sticking up for herself, and I'm sorry that your parents put you through such frustration.
20th-Jun-2010 01:05 am (UTC)
......

Your parents baffle me.
20th-Jun-2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Me too.
21st-Jun-2010 04:45 pm (UTC) - Potatoes!
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