We've gotten over the jet lag (I woke up at 5 am every day for a week) and are finally settling in to this whole summer thing. This was an exciting week; BOTH girls went to sleepaway camp. (Different camps - Duchess went off to Dorks-in-the-Woods camp and Skipper went to a coastal marine ecology camp.) Cook and I weren't sure what to make of it, but it turned out that we really enjoyed their absence. We ate spinach and poached eggs for dinner and NOBODY COMPLAINED. We tidied the living room and IT STAYED TIDY. These were lovely things. But we missed the whiny mess-makers a lot, too. We retrieved them, sunburnt and filthy, on Friday, and listened to all their boring stories about their adventures.
Skipper really enjoyed the learning parts ("Mom, I got to see aggregating anemones!") but not so much the social games stuff that is essential to any summer camp. She hates icebreakers. She made friends, including one self-identified fellow bookworm with whom she swapped book recommendations. She thinks she would like to go to sleepaway camp again, but maybe only for three nights, as she was much more homesick than she expected, and cried herself to sleep a lot.
Duchess had an unequivocally fantastic time and (I suspect) felt no homesickness at all. She loves being with a group of people who are stuck together, enduring mild discomfort and doing stuff together, and she loves collaborative story-telling - it's pretty much her dream environment. She had several pleasant flirtations, felt an enjoyable mastery of relevant skills, proved a sexist camper wrong about her expertise with fire-starting, and found herself to be popular (she seems to have started a small semi-ironic cult, which I think is useful career experience). She loved it.
The girls are both doing swim team - we'll see how it goes. Skipper does not like being one of the worst swimmers, and is very stressed about that. She's also pretty mad that I signed her up for ultimate frisbee once a week, because she's bad at it and feels very stressed about that.* The Blond Twins are signed up for it, too, though, so I'm hoping that helps. Duchess is all in for ultimate frisbee - starting next week, she will be playing 8 hours a week, and she's going to a tournament in Minnesota in August. She is NOT doing kung fu this summer, which is her first departure since she started doing it 4 years ago - she chose ultimate instead.
Anyway, we're home, and it's summer. The girls are figuring out how to be together and do nothing all day, and are spending a lot of time in the yard, often with the very confident and friendly neighborhood cat (Velvet Elvis, according to its collar, and I've never met a cat for whom that name would be so apropos) who comes by for petting.
*This is one of those decision points - force or concede? I'm going with force. But just for the summer. I think we'll let her do nothing but school during the school year.