Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the second day

Today was the second day of camp for E. I couldn't say anything yesterday, because yesterday was the first day. But on the second day, it's safe to talk.

The camp is north of here, in agrarian Maryland, which is past our suburban Maryland. It's privatized Fresh Air Fund and we drop her off at the parking lot of the elementary school around the corner from our house, where she hops a bus to a zip code with cows. So far she has climbed the obstacle course, tried archery, made a project in art, done mad science, held the wall of the pool all the way into the deep end, and gotten the first sunburn of her life on her shoulders (it's not bad--don't worry!).

She has not: cried.

Did you catch that?

My girl did not cry. You may be new here, and not understand how momentous that is, but my anxious girl did not cry. This is chorus-of-angels-singing laudable.

And that's all I want to tell you tonight. She was nervous but determined and she got on that bus. And twice in a row now, making it a not-fluke real-thing, she's come home smiling, bubbling over with stories of new friends and how to tell the two counselors with the same name apart, and how excited she is for Thursday's field trip. She came home with a purple tattoo on her lower back from the ink in the fabric marker I had used  to (per instructions) put her name in her underwear. She's a camper, you know, so she needs everything labeled.

Part of me wants to scoop her up in my arms and squeal over her at how far she's come with managing her trepidations. But for two days now I played it cool, all nonchalant-like, as she spilled forth her stories, even though inside my head my cheeks were hurting from not smiling too widely. Let her not get self-conscious at her unselfconsciousness. Let her not remember how hard past beginnings have been. Let her not over-analyze. Let her be like any other kid. Just: camp was fun! Can I have a snack?

I can't tell her what a big deal this no-big-deal is.

So I'm telling you.
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