My tween is headed off to summer camp, as in full-fledged sleep away camp, for the first time this summer. I think it sounds and feels a bit more dramatic than it is. She's gone for six nights at a horse camp less than two hours away. She's not even crossing state lines, yet it does feel like she's still hitting a tween milestone.
And she milked that for all it was worth on the night prior to departure for summer camp.
The build up actually started when I followed my own advice on getting ready for camp and we started packing a few days early. I had her label everything and while we through the packing list together, she selected which particular eight t-shirts made the cut.
Actually, no, that's not entirely true. When we first started, she picked out the nicest clothes she owned.
I then reviewed that she was headed to horse camp. I also noted the highlighted portion of the packing list explaining that "clothes may get ruined."
New rule: if you would be upset getting horse poop on it, don't take it.
She then selected eight other t-shirts to take. And yes, I'm aware that she has entirely too many t-shirts. I'm assuming the horses will help with that problem in the coming week.
All this advance planning may have gotten her a little too used to the idea that she was headed out solo for a chunk of time, but tweens tend to take things a bit too far sometimes, right? If that's just my kid, please don't tell me.
My tween asked if we could have a fun family dinner on her last night with us before her departure.
Me: What do you mean by "fun" dinner? May I note that we were on vacation last week and I thought we had a ton of what I would call "fun dinners"?
Her: Just go light on the vegetables. That'll make it fun.
So, despite the eating out budget being shot and failing at raising a child who appreciates legumes and such, we went to Chipotle, her favorite restaurant, for dinner.
I decided that was officially "fun." She agreed and wolfed down her burrito.
Chipotle is located next to an Andy's Frozen Custard stand, of course. I've heard the food at camp is, in fact, not all that good. (One of the benefits I hope to reap from her camp attendance is new-found appreciation for my very average cooking.)
That guilt or desire to ensure that she had some calcium to fuel her current growth spurt motivated me to agree to her order of a small triple chocolate concrete.
I am both embarrassed by this and also somewhat proud that the kid knows the good stuff when she sees it.
Thinking we were done and thinking she had to be full and feel special, we headed home.
It was a beautiful night and we stopped at miniature golf, because it's on the summer bucket list. We have just passed the summer is half over point and that's when I start to get nervous about those bucket list items. I know that's not all that reasonable, but I'd just turned down frozen custard. My defenses were weakened.
It was a beautiful night, the course wasn't crowded, and we had a marvelous time.
On the way to car, she asked if she could get an Icee from the "club house."
That's when I finally hit my breaking point.
I explained, "You're going to summer camp, not off to prison. You will be fine. Just fine."
And maybe we'll have an Icee to celebrate her return home in a week.
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