This morning it finally happened. Lounging in her favorite chair, covered with a soft, fuzzy blanket (despite the fact that it is 100% humidity outside, inside my house it is a little, well, chilly. I keep it at a comfortable – at least by my standards – seventy degrees of blissful air conditioning) Jessie let out a little squeal, involuntarily flapped her hands in the air and announced that she felt “joyful”. My initial reaction was twofold: first, I assumed that her joy was a result of having time to watch some inane show on Nick which she has undoubtedly seen at least seven times already and second, I found her word choice enticing, but a little bit odd…I mean how often do you hear an eleven year old say that they are “joyful”?
As it turns out, Jess’s pronouncement of joy had nothing to do (well, maybe a little bit to do) with her television viewing; rather it was in anticipation of heading off to camp for the day. Yeah, I know, kids love camp. Not so my child. Not so, historically, the camps hosting said child for the summer. And just to sweeten things even more, she went on to say, “I am so glad to finally have found the right camp”* to which I responded (in my head): Hallefuckinglullah!
We are officially past the honeymoon phase of camp life. We are safely enveloped within the camp community. I’ve gotten no phone calls, emails or offers to refund my money. She leaves the house happy. She comes home happy and tired which, all parents will attest, are telltale signs of a great day having been had. She hasn’t hatched a single fake illness or made a case for the need of a mental health day. She tosses around names of kids she has gotten friendly with in a manner far more casual than, well, ever. And, perhaps most fantastic: she has already announced her intentions to return next summer.
Yes, Jess used the word “joyful” today to express how she is feeling. This mom, for today, anyway, is feeling pretty damned joyful herself.
*A million public thanks to Jane and Grace for getting us to this camp. Love to you both for that!