Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lobster Roll Cruisin'

Cape Cod Weather Today:
The day started out iffy but soon turned sunny and bright... and humid. Which was okay, as long as the lawn dried out enough to mow. Which it did. And the sunset should be beautiful...

My oldest son went to his first semi-formal dinner dance tonight, aboard the Lobster Roll Cruise out of Sesuit Harbor in Dennis. Shirt and tie were required for the men, coat was optional.

My son is twelve.

He didn't have a "date," none of the kids did. This is the Junior Yacht Club's "Commodore Ball," an annual event which this year is being held on a dinner cruise. He was excited, and scared, and thrilled in a way he didn't understand.

Me too.

It's so hard as a parent to start letting go. To not sign up as a chaperone for every single event, as I've noticed some of the JYC parents do. But that's not why the kids are involved in the JYC. They are there to gain some measure of independence from their parents.

Which includes me.

Which is why I'm sitting home writing about it instead of on the dinner cruise, watching him try to eat a lobster on his own without making too much of a wreck of his new tie. Or talk to the girl next to him without feeling too stupid.

Two summers ago, we went on a different sunset cruise, with just my husband, myself and the three kids. We borrowed my sister-in-law's boat, and sailed out to a low tide sandbar not too far from the mouth of the harbor in Chatham. The kids ate roast beef sandwiches and chips, and my husband fished for blues. It was a wonderful night, and a great memory for us all.

Tonight's sunset cruise will be only in his memory. Not mine, not my husband, not his siblings.

Just him. And that's part of what makes it so special.

As he walked up the gangplank an hour ago, dinner ticket in hand, I could see how decked out he felt, and how grown-up he looked.

Except he forgot to put on a belt with his dress pants.

Sigh... I guess he still needs a mommy after all.

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