The Boy has returned from camp! I think his voice got a bit deeper during his absence, and he got a bit tanner (as tan as a pale redhead can get, I suppose).
When The Mister and I drove up to the camp parking lot, The Boy and his counselor were coming outside to meet us, laden down with his suitcase (mostly empty), and his dirty laundry bag (darned near overflowing with damp pieces of loveliness).
His first words to us? Not a "hello", not an "I missed you" - it was "I want to come back here next year!" Wow.
And here I sat at home during his absence, fretting. Silly me.
He had a GREAT time. His favorite activity was archery, even though he never hit the target. He went swimming, caving, canoeing, ate crappy food (he's such a critic), and attended his first dance. He danced with all of the female counselors, and learned how to twirl and dip them. Look out, Fred Astaire!
He learned a bit of Polish (his counselor, a very nice young woman named Milena, is from Poland). The counselors from the camp were from twenty-two different countries, mostly in Europe. Some had arrived in the US only a few weeks before camp began. After the camping season is over, they will have a few weeks to explore before heading home.
The camp was for disabled and non-disabled kids, as well as disabled adults. He saw many campers who struggled, both physically and emotionally. His new BFF, Corey, was a nice boy who used a walker or crutches to get around.
All of this exposure to people of different cultures, and campers with different living and family situations caused The Boy to mellow a bit, temporarily.
(Begin humming "We Are the World")
He expressed his gratitude during the ride home. He thanked The Mister "for letting us into his life". Wow again.
He got weepy near bedtime, he said he missed everyone - everyone at camp, not the Mister and me, and wished he were back there. He has done that every night he's been home, so far. Being accepted will do that to ya - he hasn't gotten that kind of welcome from kids in our neighborhood.
I had hopes that this new worldy view and self-awareness would cause him to settle back into our home with a brand new attitude of gratitude and good behavior.
Wrong again. He's turned back into his surly adolescent self already.
A mom can dream.
The Boy has pictures from his camp experience to get developed. He'll be doing a guest post to show you all what a great time he had. Stay tuned.