So I got a call from the camp last week. It sounded like this:
“Hello this is Shani from camp it’s not an emergency.”
Like that, all in one breath, before the neurotic Jewish parent on the other end can plotz.
Ok, now that we’ve established that I don’t need to shriek or pee in my pants, what I can I do for you?
It seems that after a week at camp, Little Yenta Girl, who as a first-timer was supposed to only stay for 10 days, wanted to extend her stay for the rest of the session with her older brother. Apparently, she really likes camp, which I know from the one piece of correspondence we have received from her, decorated as it is with exclamation points and hearts.
“She’s very happy and she wanted me to ask you if she could stay,” said the nice college student.”All the counselors love her. She’s a real leader.”
I gulped. My baby girl doesn’t want to COME HOME?
“Also, the only other girl who was supposed to go home is staying. But no pressure,” added Shani.
I told her to call back that evening. Then I went and cried for an hour. Then I ate half a tub of salted caramel ice cream. Then El Yenta Man came home and I cried some more.
“She doesn’t *sob* even miss us AT *sniff sniff* ALL,” I moaned. “She likes a cabin full of total strangers better than us. We are BAD parents.”
El Yenta Man patted my head, avoiding the snotfall of my face. “Actually, I think it means we’re pretty good parents.”
I blubbered. “How? How can you such a thing?”
“Because we’ve raised her to be independent and to get along with other people, and look, she is,” pointed out my sagacious husband, gently peeling my fingers away from the tub of ice cream. “Also, she doesn’t want to miss out on all the adventure. Sounds just like her mama.”
I considered this. LYG has always followed her brother into the fray, even though she’s four years younger. She’s a jubilant—and tough—little cookie.
When she was 3, she would strip down to her underwear, tie Chachi bandanas around her knees and chase his friends around the house with a wooden sword. At eight-and-a-half, I guess our Warrior Princess is ready for the whole time in the woods.
“I guess that means two more weeks of quiet,” I whispered. “I really, really miss them.”
EYM hugged me. “Of course you do. Me, not so much. They’ll be home soon enough and making us crazy.”
The phone rang.
After figuring out that we could apply for a partial scholarship for the balance (hello, staying twice as long costs twice as much. Thank you, One Happy Camper!) I gave our blessings. I prepared a little care package with some extra socks and extra stationary and a lot of kisses tucked in a letter detailing every cute thing the dog has done since she’s been gone.
I was still feeling a little mopey until I came home from work to find EYM in nothing but his boxer briefs and Chachi bandanas, waiting to chase me around the house with his wooden sword. On with the adventure!