An Unflappable Teen

Posted by Steve Baskin on Jul 28, 2020 5:45:00 PM
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After writing yesterday’s blog, Susie Ma’am chided me, “You showed chicken pictures and left out the best one?!?!”


She, of course, was correct.  I had the definitive chicken photo and failed to share it.


To my credit, I was writing about reinventing yourself at camp and randomly selected a chicken photo because it amused me.  I was not suggesting that Susie Ma’am had any intention of reinventing herself as poultry.  She is a spectacular human and I earnestly hope she will remain thus.  Though, if she were to choose the path of the chicken, I would support her.


But since I failed to share her favorite chicken photo AND I wrote a more serious piece yesterday; I will share this story today.


One of our goals as parents is to foster resilient and mentally strong children.  We know that camp is a big part of this.  Camp provides daily challenges that enable campers to grow in confidence and competence.


But we have also focused on this outcome as well as parents.  For example, Susie Ma’am delivered one of our kiddos to kindergarten in pajamas on a morning when he was running exceedingly late.  We knew the teacher and prepped her so that no one would belittle him or draw attention to him.  But this mild inconvenience assured he would be ready and dressed for the next 12 years. 


With this in mind, allow me to share the story of this photo. 


Susie Ma’am needed to deliver something to our youngest daughter Virginia during her Freshman year (4 years ago).  Just for fun, she said the following, “I will be in the parking lot waving and cheering.  I am sure it will embarrass you.”


“There is nothing you can do to embarrass me.”


As a rule, never say those words to a camp director.  Susie Ma’am took this as a challenge.


Her answer came to her quickly.  Rather than stand by a car in the parking lot, she would walk in front of the school . . . wearing her chicken suit. 


Of course, a chicken suit conceals the identity of the wearer.  Thus adorned, she was not a potential source of embarrassment.  She was instead an odd, if not creepy, addition to a high school courtyard.


To address this challenge, she created a helpful sign: “VIRGINIA BASKIN, Freshman”. 


Here is the photo.

STB and V Chicken photo

You might look at Virginia Ma’am in this shot and think that she was humiliated or angry.  Actually, she was absolutely non-plussed.  The look of displeasure on her face comes from the fact that she had tripped seconds before the picture was taken.  The expression was from almost falling, not humiliation.  In fact, her friends heard her comment that “this is my mom trying to embarrass me.”


I have rarely been as proud.  If you wonder if I mean proud of Susie Ma’am or Virginia Ma’am, the answer is “yes”.


Steve Sir