Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On The River

Being out on the river is both labor intensive and provides opportunities to loaf.  On the river, if the current and wind is right, you don't have to paddle much.  You take an insane amount of gear which can provide all sorts of creature comforts, but you also have to pack and unpack it.

This tends to reveal character (more on that tomorrow), and I was struck by what it revealed.  First, I think Most Glorious and Babelicious Wife tended to feel like she was invisible.  She's camped some, but not a lot, and so when tasks needed to be done, she felt it was tough to join in.  This created a weird void for her.  She's usually so competent, so on the ball and so involved in everything that I think she was non-plussed at times.

But mostly I was impressed with the Things.

Thing One has his issues, OK?  Impulse control being probably the foremost among those issues.  But he was just great.  There was another boy on the trip, physically as mature, though a year younger.  Thing One just outshone him.  They had a great time together (unfortunately leaving Thing Two out of their fun at times) but Thing One just was a better "river person".  He cleaned up after himself, he took care of the gear better, he responded to instructions better and mostly he worked harder.  If we can just get him to see school as a river, there's no end to what he can accomplish.

Thing Two does not have nearly those issues.  But he does have a tendency to whine a bit.  His cousin, who was only five, tended to beat on him like a drum.  He tolerated her fists of love with remarkable aplomb.  And tolerating things is important on the river, where you have to create some harmony.

I'll write more on this tomorrow, when I compare River Rafting to Catholicism and  Backpacking to Calvinism.

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