The Curmudgeon Goes To Camp

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The Cupcake is 7. This is the first year I decided to keep her “home” for the summer. I work from home, so it’s a true test of her independence — and my patience. So far, we’ve front-loaded the summer with camps and other than her developing an unhealthy reliance on an intravenous Netfix drip of My Little Pony, things are going swimmingly.

Last week however, we had a Fine Arts Day Camp on the books at a popular semi-mega church. It is a high-energy, youthful 5 days filled with singing, set building, scripture and friendship. I thought it sounded like a blast, but… she was reserved in her assessment.

Let me be clear: She enjoyed it. Maybe just not the way I would enjoy it.

When she runs down the hall at drop off and pops into the class forgetting to say good-bye, I know she likes it despite our rocky start. My little curmudgeon shuns being the center of attention and the exuberant welcome on Day One was touch and go whether she would stay.

Monday

As soon as we exited the car on Monday, we could hear the shouts and cheers from the kid leaders welcoming everyone to Day One of camp. Lots of high-fives, whooping, singing, excessive joyful noise. When we entered the lobby, there was a group dance in full swing to blaring Christian rock. I’m trying to get the Cupcake to dance, she’s giving me serious side-eye and clutching my hand like I’m about to drop her off at the dentist.

She apprehensively entered her group room and I prayed when I left that I hadn’t just scarred her from coming back to this popular church where so many of her friends attend.

When I picked her up that night, I asked her how her day went and she says, “Well… I told them to dial down the enthusiasm (she used a blended form of enthusiasm and exciting) because they were scaring me. So they did, and the day was good after that.

(She is such her father’s child.)

Tuesday

Similar arrival although not a parking lot full of cheerleaders. Still got the side-eye and hand clutch at drop off, but it was accompanied by a long hug at departure.

When I picked her up that day, she says to me, “Everyone keeps telling me, ‘I like your blue hair, I like your blue hair, I like your blue hair.‘ It’s really annoying.”

Naturally we discussed the implications of being so fashion forward and having a mom as cool as she does that allows her to express her individuality with a small blue hair extension.

Then she proceeded to tell me how gross the boys in her group are. So there’s that.

Wednesday

What the heck is going on with camp today?! Oh right – it was “Wacky Wednesday.” I felt I failed her a mom to forget to mix up her shoes and give her thing one and thing two hair and dress her in something ridiculous and absurd. Riddled with guilt at my failure to enable her to conform to the zany antics of the day and offering to run to Target to wacky-her-up, she reassures me repeatedly – “It’s okay Mama. I didn’t want to dress up anyway. I really didn’t. Serious.”

So much for camp spirit.

When I picked her up from camp, I asked how her day went and she told me that all the girls in her group want to do is hang on and hug on the girl leads, and she’s not into that so she split up from her friend and played with the boys all day.

Oh, and the boys are still gross, but they are nice to her.

Thursday

We are on it today. It’s Jersey Thursday. We did NOT forget! In fact, we loaded up at Hobby Lobby so she could create her OWN jersey with puffy paint and list all of her favorite teams. Disappointingly due to excessive paint application, it was not dry and she had to resort to finding something pre-existing in her sizable closet which turned out great because even without discussing it, she and her girlfriend both wore their team soccer jerseys. The Cupcake even donned her indoor soccer shoes to make it legit.

Score one for the Cupcake.

Friday

I honestly think she was sad for camp to end. She had a ½ day and then a return for the performance that evening. She dutifully told use exactly where to sit so we could see her group throughout the program.

Spend Awhile on the Nile

Despite a wicked thunderstorm that interfered with the microphones and cancelled the post-show outdoor water party, the “Spend Awhile, On the Nile” was a great production! My little curmudgeon rounded out her camp experience and spent 75% of her time on stage with her hands clamped tightly over her ears because it was too loud. Other than that and the disappointment of no water slide, she said she enjoyed her week, so of course I asked, “Do you think you want me to sign you up for it next year?”

“Maybe yes, maybe no. I have a long time to decide about that.”

Apparently summer camp is more exciting for the Mom.

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