One came running to greet her. The other hid in the woods.
This is why I have only one child. (kidding.)
Alison has never hiddin in the #FlatRockRiverCamp woods when we went to pick her up, but she's never been reluctant to go. This year, she insisted that she could pack on her own. So I armed her with the list and told her to go for it.
I've quizzed her a bit on whether she remembered this or that, and helped her find a few things, but here's the difference between her first year when she was 9 and this year, newly 13.
At 9, we labored over the list, checking it off together and making sure to pack in momentos from home and pre-addressed envelopes for notes home.
Yesterday, it was: "Mom, should I bring this for the dance?" as she offered up a slim-fitting black mini dress I made the mistake of buying for her.
"And I can I bring these sandals?" she said, offering up a pair of my favorite summer wedges.
It's a great camp. No electronics allowed. They do a great job of teaching self-confidence, self-reliance and independence without alerting the kids that they're actually learning these important life skills. It's a terrible/wonderful thing to see the growth even just a week can bring.
Alison seems focused on the hope of finally getting to break in the new zip line, re-climbing the Alpine tower, creek stomping and the annual mudfest where they have a contest to see who can get the dirtiest. She should have only one opportunity to break out that dress and heels. (Thank God!)
She's anxious to get contacts. But take a look at this:
If she gets any cuter, I'm going to not just refuse the contacts, but I might slap those braces back on her... In the picture below, she's with Bree Tabor. They had great fun while they were in charge of themselves for a few days this week. Lisa and I are letting them take baby steps -- compared to our own childhood summers -- and they have yet to burn down the houses, maim each other or have the police called. They'll get more chance for all of that later on this summer.
I'm considering seeing if we can add Jenna Tokash to the mix, but don't know if that's just too much rope/temptation. As babies, they ruled their little Day Nursery kingdom. As teenagers, I'm not sure any of our neighborhoods would be safe.
While Ali is away at camp, Jeff and I hope to resume our exploration of local eateries.
Last year we had a rule that we could only go to places we'd never visited before. I suspect #PetitChou will be the rule breaker.
It should be a fun week for all of us. And speaking of fun, I had a work trip last week where my friend @JodieKehoe18 and I learned how to be better PR professionals. It was great connecting with some folks there but we were able to sneak out to have dinner with Jonathan Swain. We met him in a trendy part of Washington DC, where of course he lives and plays. I've forgotten it's name. It's on 14th Street -- just go there. It's wonderful.
We went to Barcelona and Masa 14. Had Jodie and I not gotten up at 4 a.m. to make our flight -- and still had afterdinner commitments -- we would have explored more.
Between that trip and the coming week, my culinary adventures will be rivaled only by my trips to the gym to work it all off. I'm in a bit of deficit already thanks to that damn Jodie. She, Jared Hay and Ashley Harriman and I worked an Indianapolis Motor Speedway announcement last week. On the way back to work, I had the top down on the Mustang and as we glided from 16th to Indiana, Jared went n point.
It was as if Pepe LePeu was in the car and had caught the aroma of that paint-striped cat. In this case, it was the aroma of Long's donuts. Jared and Jodie learned that neither Ashley nor I had ever indulged in the Indianapolis legend.
We went back and I'm here to tell you that there's not a better way to fry cinnamon, apple and dough than they way they do it there. I have banned myself from driving in that part of town the rest of the summer....