Thing 2 has been at camp the past week, and Thing 1 and I went and picked her up this afternoon.
The camp is an hour away, on Lake Huron. Thing 2 went there last year, and loved it, and couldn't wait to go again this year. I'm happy she likes it so much; I was never a kid who could contemplate even the idea of going away to camp for a week....terminal homesickness would have finished me off for sure. It thrills me that she does not suffer similarly. Thing 1 never went away to camp, not so much because of the homesickness, she's savvy enough to be able to deal with that. It was more because, in her words, "there's too much nature at camp." That particular apple has not fallen far from the tree.
It's a bit disconcerting to be away from your child for a few days and not recognize them when you are reunited. I walked up to Thing 2's cabin, where all the girls were hanging out outside waiting for their parents, and I nearly kept going because I was looking for much younger kids. When a young woman almost as tall as me launched herself at me and hugged me for all she was worth, I was momentarily offended. Then I realized it was my own offspring. I'm glad I hugged her back, and didn't flip her over my shoulder in a Jackie Chan moment.
As we drove home, in a gold-dipped afternoon through the rolling green of southwestern Ontario, we chatted about her week, and our week, and Toby's week. (Toby caught a chipmunk....Thing 1 managed to free it from it's peril by gently hitting Toby in the head with a broom. Toby was so surprised he let go of the chipmunk and gave Thing 1 a perfec "what the hell???" look. Chipmunk wisely hightailed it out of there, and now Toby goes back to the spot every time he goes outside, like it might be there again. ) She did some archery and ate French toast for the first time and told her friends about the songs I sing to the cat. We got a new tv for the kitchen, and worked and noticed how quiet it was without her around.
She's had a shower, and dinner (with all the milk she could drink, because, apparently, they don't serve milk at camp) and after going on Facebook and watching tv, will climb into her own bed with clean sheets and can sleep as long as she likes.
I don't think it gets any better than that.