like ants to a picnic

Sarah has had boys buzzing around her for a few years now. In the past year it has gone from something only I notice to something everyone notices. Tommy and Noah’s scout troop has boys ranging in age from 8 to 18. We used to take the whole family and let the non scouts play on the playground. Now, I try to avoid having Sarah at the boys’ meetings and activities. She walks into the gym and the teens begin a circling pattern, like planets around the sun. Their orbits alternate getting close enough to her to get burned and I watch quietly. The boys’ parents seem oblivious to this harmless hormone dance. I feel like she is a distraction to the boys, but I am not worried about Sarah. Usually.

We live in a cove and the neighborhood children know that they are always welcome in or around our house. When school is out for the summer, there is a giant construction site spouted cooler filled with lemonade for the hordes of miniature people. Instead of grouping off by age, the children all play together. Lately, a 12-year-old has been requesting daily games of basketball with Sarah. The other children try to join in the game, but it is clearly a two person game. It isn’t really basketball either. It’s more like football. This boy seems to have an endless supply of reasons to tackle Sarah. Sarah will play along for a bit and then suddenly remember homework that must take her away from the game. Day after day this scenario plays out in the cove and I watch with a scowl. Doug thinks this is funny. I think Sarah should punch this little boy in the nose the next time he “accidently” throws himself into her chest.

Next weekend, the Boy Scouts are going climbing. Sarah loves climbing so much that she owns her own equipment. She is thrilled to be doing some real outdoor climbing instead of her weekly indoor wall climbs. Ignore the fact that the last several overnight scout trips have ended with one of the boys breaking something or needing stitches. Ignore that the scouts have chosen to go climbing at a popular spot the weekend that is considered a special holiday for college students. Focus instead on my almost 15-year-old daughter camping and climbing with a bunch of boys, including the two male teens whose parents don’t seem to care that they are constantly strutting their feathers for Sarah. Pay special notice of the fact that Sarah really likes these two boys. The boys are both smart, funny and very cute. I think Sarah should be padlocked in her tent at night. Doug thinks I’m a nutcase. I think he is overestimating the scout and underestimating the boy.

6 thoughts on “like ants to a picnic

  1. I think Doug’s mind may still be clouded from his recent trauma with twigs and berries. Yes, a tent lock is a very good idea… if there isn’t a Holiday Inn Express nearby. And, make her wear her climbing belt all the time. Barriers are good. Concrete igloo might be a better sleeping arrangement for her. Just because they’re Scouts doesn’t mean they forget the boy part!

  2. Actually I am with Doug on this one. Even if he is understimating the boy a bit, you (I believe) are underestimating something about the scout part of the boy.

    Unlike those that are not scouts, being a scout helps develop a sense of morals. And while that may not be enough long term to keep things at bay, on any particular evening (particularly at this age), it ads enough confusion to the already awkward stage, to make them slow down enough be controlled. Yes, they make be, “strutting their feathers” but at this point, that is about the only part of the dance they have down… so far.

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