summer camp

Today I dropped Jordan off at summer camp. She will be gone for five nights. Five!

It's the same camp I went to as a kid, and I loved it! The time away from home, meeting new friends, trying new things, it was always the highlight of my summer.

In the spring I asked her if she still wanted to go to summer camp. Last year she pointed out to me a number of times that other kids she knew had gone to sleep-away camp, and not just to a day camp, so this spring I asked her if she still wanted to go to a sleep-away summer camp, and she jumped at it. I sent away her registration, and a few days later received a confirmation email. She excitedly chose her four activities for the week and was happy to hear that her cousin would be joining her.

As it came closer, I could tell she was nervous. She mentioned a few times recently that she'd miss me. I told her that I'd miss her too, but that I was excited for her to try something new and fun.

Today we packed up the campsite that we had been in for the last few nights, and I took Jordan to have a shower and put on clean clothes, and then we said goodbye to Steven and the other kids and she and I hopped in the car so I could drop her off at summer camp on the way home.

And she immediately burst into tears.

I'm pretty sure I never cried when I had to go to camp as a kid. Anyway, I waved Steven over for one last hug, calmed her down, told her it was for five days and she was going to have lots of fun and we wanted to hear all about it, and then she and I headed for the highway.

For the next hour, we drove along eating snacks and way too many chips, and talked about horseback riding and archery, and that it was cool that she got to spend a whole week with kids her own age doing big kid stuff, and staying up late, and hanging out with one of her favorite cousins, and cool teenager counselors instead of grumpy old parents.

When we arrived at camp we took all her stuff out of the car and made our way down to the check in area, where super-friendly staff told us where to go. Her counselor was waiting for her and led us down to her cabin where we left all her stuff.

The rest of her group was out at the playground with the other counselor, so we went to find them. Jordan held my hand the whole way, and was seriously shy and sweet. I mentioned to the girl that it was kind of funny that she was being so shy, and that in a few hours she'd shine as the goofy kid in the group.

Eventually the meeting bell rang and I left her at the door of the hall, looking worried and uncertain, and I made a break for the car. I know she'll be fine once she feels like she knows the other kids, but it was pretty hard to leave her there and drive away when she looked so worried!

Five sleeps.

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