Me: I'm so happy that you're getting to do all this super fun stuff at camp this summer.
Maddie: Me too.
Zak: Do you know what your mother and I did during the summer when we were kids?
Me and Zak (at the same time): NOTHING!
Zak: We played outside, and when we got bored, then we played outside some more. There was no TiVo, no DVD players, no iPads, no swimming pool at our demand. We had sprinklers to run through if we were lucky.
Maddie: Well, at least you got to stay home and hang out with your parents all summer long.
Me and Zak (at the same time): No!
Me: Our parents went to work during the day.
Zak: We wore house keys around our necks and then begged the neighbors for cool blast of air and maybe a Popsicle for lunch.
Okay, maybe that last part isn't entirely true. Maddie's first summer as a school age kid is certainly different than any summer I can ever remember (which isn't saying much because I don't remember squat about my childhood).
She's been at summer camp for two weeks. In addition to the fun playing with friends, doing crafts and art project type stuff, she has taken a bus (not a school bus, but a fancy charter bus with TV's and A/C!) to Natural Bridge Caverns, Roller Skating, Pump It Up (inflatable bouncy house place), miniature golfing and bumper boat racing.
She's only been there for 9 days! We've got 8 more weeks of this kind of action packed stuff planned!
Do I sound jealous?
Why yes! yes I am!
Tuesday's trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns was the most exciting, and the one I wished I would have been able to go to (no parents allowed!). I'm surprised I've never taken The Girls there before. Because first of all, it's underground (no sunscreen required!) and it's 70 degrees in the cave (101 degrees outside the cave today), and it's a learning experience (hooray for science!), and there are tons of wineries in the area (huh?) for pit stops in case I get thirsty.
Zak and I tried to explain to her what it was going to be like, but other than showing her pictures, we couldn't explain it very well. Trying to tell a 6 year old she was going to go into a deep, wet, dark cave isn't usually a good way to encourage exploring new adventures. (She instantly brought up the book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt.")
Maddie came home rambling with scientific facts about how the caves are formed, how she got "cave kisses," and stories about going deep underground. She told me how the caves were discovered "40 hundred years ago" by some old time-y guys. Maddie "shifted" for gold and came home with some cool stones to show us. She ate a hot dog with her friends in the sun, and drank her first Pepsi. (Which she thought was disgusting--Thank God--and asked for some water instead.)
As a parent, we always want our children to have what we didn't have, or certainly for their lives to be "better" than our childhoods. I'm not sure that's always a good thing, but I'm thankful that we can provide this kind of experience for Maddie.
The girl has the memory of an elephant, so at least she'll remember.