We got her back! And she hasn't tried to escape once since leaving the utopia that is Flat Rock River Camp.
It's just a bit more than 60 minutes from the camp to our driveway. We talked nonstop for at least 45 minutes, took a couple of breaths and went back in. Among the best tidbits:
"Mom, when we get home, can I have Ramen for lunch or can we stop at Taco Bell? I have had nothing but home-made food for an entire week. I want something that comes from a package."
"So there was this boy who came up to me and touched my hair and said "It's so sexy." (Alison says he was 18 and among the Spanish contingent, which had departed for their own damn country before we arrived. Which was good timing.)
"Did you dance with this boy at the dance?"
I asked, outraged, prepared to find out if she came within a centimeter after this exchange.
"No! Geeze Mom. It was sooooo embarrasing," she said.
(I'm shaving her head before she goes back next year.)
There were no days of having to eat fruit and salad all day, though apparently Jenna had beans every day. Each cabin has a special sound they use to round up the inhabitants in a big group. The Osage cabin's sound was the "Caw! Caw!" of a crow until Miss Tokash, the delicate flower of the group, repeatedly emitted odor.
"Jenna was a gas tank," Alison reported. "She farted every day."
The cabin call quickly became "Fart!"
Everyone had a great time. Alison got distracte one day, put on her cowboy boots but forgot to get dressed so she went rope jumping in her pjs and boots.
This was the first year for Alison to have more than one friend at the camp going in. Helen has gone every year, but this year they weren't in the same cabin. Alex and Hannnah went, as well, but were also in other cabins and they were in different activities. So they got to see each other at meals and the occasional joint event. >br /> Jenna and Ali were joined at the hip, as you might expect, and they're already signed up to return. Drew's going to go, and we're hoping it will be another full contingent. It's not that we don't want to meet new friends, but we're happy with the friends they have. Newcomers will require vetting...
It's really a great camp. While I struggle a bit with the idea of Alison growing up at warp speed, It's a wonderful experience for everyone. Amy and I are trying to find a way to get to go ourselves. You can see photos at www.flatrockymca.org Jeff and I acted like we were on vacation. We drank more champagne and wine and dined out more than we probably have done all year. We stayed out way too late on a school night drinking more wine that we should have with John and Lisa; we saw Cheryl Gonzalez live and in the flesh for the first time in too long; and we ended the week with Team Beache and a three-hour dinner in Broad Ripple.
We ended the weekend last night with a great family outing in Columbus where we got to see cousins and siblings and got schooled (again) by Aunt Shirley and her rapier wit. At one point I remarked that even on the phone, using only silence and vibrations, Aunt Shirley can let you know she thinks you're a dumbass.
"Hmmm. You must have more experience with being a dumbass," was my sister's rejoinder.
It's tough crowd, my family. But I'll keep 'em.