Asian barbecued chicken - Hillsboro Banner: Food

Asian barbecued chicken

By Alyssa Short | Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 6:58 am

Parenting is full of firsts, and the hubby and I had another this past week – dropping off our kiddo for day camp.

My 8-year-old son, Jack, wanted to attend a college-for-kids gaming and coding camp for youths ages 8 to 13. Because we’re always trying to push Jack outside his comfort zone – like doing something educational during summer vacation – we were happy to oblige.

The hubby and I obviously had more first-day jitters than our kiddo did. “How was drop-off?” the hubby texted me after I left my baby in the hands of hopefully capable strangers at a college 45 minutes from home. “Wow, it’s been years since I’ve asked that question,” he commented.

As parents, we worry – I’m exceptionally more skilled at it than most – and when the kiddo was little and we rotated day care drop-off duties, the hubby and I asked each other that question almost daily.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, drop-off was fine, whether the kiddo was moving to a new day care or starting his first day of school; the hubby and I were the ones with potential separation anxiety issues. And day camp was no different.

I walked Jack to his door, where he ditched me after check-in, not wanting his mommy to go into his classroom with him.

And I made Jack bring his phone, for my own peace of mind, and sent a few texts the first morning, like “Hi!” and “How’s it going?” I finally received a reply around noon, although the “Hi” response did little to quell my nerves.

Punctuation is crucial in these situations. I hoped Jack meant to use an exclamation mark, as in, “Hi! I’m having SO MUCH FUN that I don’t want to stop to finish texting you!”

Or maybe it was a bored “Hi.” As in, “This has been the most boring three hours of my life. I can’t believe you and Grandma paid good money for this.”

Or was it a cry for help? Maybe he was in the midst of typing, “Hi Mom, I miss you, I love you, come get me” but didn’t get to finish.

Turns out it was more like a question mark, along the lines of “Hi? Why are you texting me?”

Jack left camp that first day talking a mile a minute about all the fun he had, and how he couldn’t wait to go back the next day. It’s good for all of us to push the boundaries of our comfort zones sometimes, and if I can handle sending Jack to camp for four days, he can handle us shaking things up on the food side.

At least, that’s the excuse I’ll use when I swap in this spicy, Asian-style chicken for Jack’s usual barbecued chicken.  

For the recipe, see the Banner's online or print edition.