And, as a mother who has never sent a daughter off to camp all by herself before, I got more nervous and worried, too.
Despite our nerves and worries we drove Rose up to camp last Monday. Everyone was friendly - and everyone was speaking Italian! (language immersion is part of the camp experience). It was a bit overwhelming for all of us yet the counselors are great at sign language and we managed to figure out where to go and what to do. Rose had to check in, go through "customs", pick an Italian name for the week (Rosalinda) and exchange her money for "Euros." She met her counselors and settled into her cabin and made her "targhetta" (name tag). Then, after assurance from Rose and her counselors that she would be just fine, we hugged Rose one more time, left her at camp and headed home.
This week with Rose gone at camp was kind of tough for me. I worried. Was she homesick? Was she making friends? In addition to my worries I was struck with how much I'm used to having Rose at home. How much I talk to her about what is going on. How much I like having her around because she's a fun and interesting person. How much I simply like my daughter.
Today was the last day of camp so we flew the Pacer up to Longville, MN, to get Rose then jumped into the airport courtesy car and drove about 10 miles west to Lago del Bosco. To Rose.
And guess what? My worries that Rose would be lonely were unfounded.
Rose had a wonderful time! She learned tons of Italian. And she wasn't lonely - instead she made friends and plans to keep in contact with several of them. And ever since we've picked her up she's been vibrant and happy and bubbling with excitement about her week at Lago del Bosco. She's been singing songs and talking about the fun she had. And she's already talking about how she wants to go back next year for two weeks instead of just one. And how maybe Ryan can go to Italian camp, too.
Rose (on the far left) with her counselors and some of her new Lago del Bosco friends
And it's amazing how camp changed Rose....Less than a week ago I dropped off my thirteen-year-old daughter at camp. Today I picked up a more grown-up, more outgoing version of her. A wonderful young woman. My daughter, Rose.