This morning, the Critter went to her first day of summer camp. And there was much rejoicing.
When I was a kid, I avoided summer camp like the plague. Of course, my athletic aptitude as a kid was slightly behind that of a somewhat ill ficus tree. (Hell, I can't even use the "as a kid" excuse. That's pretty much true today as well. Except now I'm older and with the love handles. Which adds a drag factor.) So "summer camp" for me conjured up weeks of being picked last for the canoe-volleyball-relay races and making ugly ashtrays out of clay/pipecleaners/toilet paper rolls. Fortunately for me, my parents were either moved by my annual theatrics and detailed flip-charts and graphs explaining Why Summer Camp Causes Syringomyelia And Other Reasons Not To Send Me There or, more probably, were painfully aware of my lack of ability to, you know, throw a ball. So though it was occasionally brought up as an idea, I never went.
Unfortunately for her, the Critter shows a tendency more towards my athletic capabilities, rather than her mother's (who was voted "Most valuable player" and "most willing to take a hit for the team" and "most creative foul of the season" by her high school soccer team for 4 years running). It kills my Bride when she sees the Critter run like a grandmother across the yard, or when the Critter prefers to read a book or color on the bleachers, rather than play ju-jitsuball, or whatever it is the kids are playing these days. I just smile, as I totally recognize the source of the choice. And I remind my Bride that she has the boy still, so there's hope yet that we'll have birthed an athlete.
All this being said, I wasn't really sure how the Critter was going to take to summer camp. Toss in a bit of her natural shyness, and I figured we stood a good chance of experiencing a meltdown in the parking lot this morning. But we deliberately chose a local camp, with the thought that this would at least give her the chance to meet some of the kids she'd be going to school with in a few weeks. And we played this up in the last month or so, trying to build her excitement.
As it turned out, we needn't had bothered. We neglected to factor in what two weeks of being cooped up in the new house with no toys or furniture, and two adults that want to focus on things like room-painting or teaching the new dog not to piss on the floor (Big Dog = Big Mess) and pretty much no outlet for her six-year-old energy would do to whet her appetite for some other kids to play with. My Bride reported this morning that the Critter didn't even look back this morning. She was so excited to see another face that wasn't ours that it totally outweighed any trepidation she might have had around what she was actually going to do when she got there.
She told me this evening that she already met some good people and found a good friend. She maybe could be her new best friend. What's her name? She doesn't remember. But she's really neat. And somebody else was really jealous of the watermelon we packed in her snack box.
What else did they do today? Who knows. But I got a detailed report of what everybody had in their snack box.
Oh yeah. That's my kid.