Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The six year old is in camp. It's a day camp. The thought of her staying away is both tantalizing and terrifying. When I drop her off she is glowing with possibility. When I pick her up she has that look of being gloriously exhausted. We signed her up with one friend so she has met 12 new friends, some are 'yucky boys.' For the record, not all boys are 'yucky' but many of them are (so true!)

When I ask her how it went, what did she do? She is coy and smug. She has secrets. It's not school, they are not so closely supervised - they can get away with things. It makes her eyes twinkle. Of course - in true six year old style - she will confess all over time but for the first few hours or maybe even days, she delights in her autonomy.

I find myself thrown back to my own camp memories. I went to camp with my family's church. We stayed away but my parents were there. Still, it was the highlight of my year. I slept in a dorm. After lights out the older girls would make my eyes wide with stories of kissing boys or stealing lipsticks from Woolworths. I was a 'good girl' and these things sounded divinely sinful to me.

Each day was full of adventure. Eating lunch on the grass with 20 other kids made it taste extra delicious. The kids came from different places and backgrounds - they had jokes and stories I'd never heard. They were so glamorous to me.

At night we would squeal with delight running to and from the bathrooms because the boys might see us in our nighties! We had crushes and spent a lot of time giggling.

It is one of the greatest joys of parenting to see my wee girl taking the path I've walked. Doing it her way. Delighting in discovery of the world outside of her routine. Breaking the rules.

Still, when she does eventually go to stay away camp - I will be in the bushes with binoculars.

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