Our girl is home after three glorious weeks at camp.
This was her third year at Camp Lachlan. She didn’t want camp to end, didn’t entirely want to come home. She’s straddling the line between tween and teen these days, leaning more towards the teen side of things at times. She doesn’t always like me – which is to be expected, although she did like me for an entire week the beginning of the summer. I realize that may be the most consecutive moments in a row that she likes me for some time to come. I treasured each moment, wondering if it was going to be the last, until finally, it was the last in that long row of them. Spending the first 5 weeks of summer underscheduled with her mother was fun at first, although I did hear her talking with her friends about how much she missed the structure of school. My girl loves structure. Her first morning home after camp, she had a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that there were no scheduled activities on top of a serve yourself breakfast plan. It was a bit of a bumpy re-entry to say the least.
There are adjustments on both our parts to be made. On my part, it’s quite easy to fall into a groove of ‘what shall we can today’ while not giving a second thought to actually feeding anyone a decent meal. Truth be told, I haven’t gotten dinner on the table before dark since uhm, well, before school let out last spring. A friend recently discovered this and thought it quite cool and European – which my family greeted with completely unamused faces. I was told she is used to having dinner between 6 and 6:30 every night and with school getting ready to start, I need to do a better job of hitting that target time. I can proudly say that three nights in a row now, I’ve had dinner on the table before dark. Two nights before 8 pm. Progress people, progress.
In another move applauded by her father, she insisted we go to the grocery store Sunday and buy actual food – girls do not live off of just pickles, no matter how many you have on hand. While peanuts are a nice snack, there should be more than just a jar of peanuts on hand for snacking. Bread & butter is lovely, but apparently I am the only person in this house who can eat it for snacks and every meal. She has a new found liking for hot sauce, just in time to try out my new homemade Tabasco style sauce.
It’s funny how much one person makes a difference in your home – there’s been a steady flow of neighborhood kids coming over to welcome her back, laundry is back to a never-ending job and dinner, something I hadn’t really given much thought to in recent weeks, well, dinner is something I wake up thinking about so that I can get it on the table in a timely manner every evening. We’ve started eating at the table again too. Her camp gear is still scattered all over the house with her trunk sitting in the hallway as she slowly finds spaces for all those items again. With school set to start in a week, she’s doing a deep clean & reorganization of her room. Every year she comes home from camp with that much more confidence and independence, the sort of confidence and independence that can only spring from being forced outside of your comfort zone, while learning to use power tools in the craft shed and shooting bulls eyes with a bow & arrow. She’s looking forward to the day when she can be a counselor at camp – still a few years away, although I know that day will be here before I know it. For now, she’s still settling back into life at home, with running water, electricity, the internet, her own bedroom and bathroom with serve yourself breakfast & lunch, and plan your own activities.
No wonder she wants to stay at camp.