We picked Jane up from the airport last night and she was radiant. Outward Bound is the right program for her. She paddled 80 miles in five days, made new friends and has more bug bites than I ever could have imagined. Jane’s skin was perfect. Those midwestern girls with their humidity may be shiny at times but there’s nothing like skin that hasn’t been hit by the desert sun.
In typical Jane fashion she talked a mile a minute about the other girls. They were from places like New Jersey and Oklahoma and China. I asked what their parents did for a living and two of the girls had nutritionist moms, “You would love them!” She squealed. She lamented the fact that she was the only girl who had to fly in and out of Minnesota. The other girls were staying an extra day to go to the Mall of America which has [insert a squeal here] Brandy Melville. I reminded her that LA has Brandy Melville too and you didn’t have to walk past stored full of kitten tee shirts to get there but she was still unhappy to have missed the experience.
She marveled at Minnesotans. They’re all blonde or redheads and lots of men with beards. She’d never seen so many beards and her eyes grew wide as saucers as she told me, “Everyone says ‘hi’ to you. Like for no reason they wave and say ‘hi’.”
“Why do they do that?” I asked.
“I don’t know. They’re like super friendly like they think they’re going to see me again or something so I just sort of started saying ‘hi’ to people randomly. It was weird.”
Jane paddled a canoe 78 miles in five days and only cried once. Apparently when there are thunderstorms the girls get woken up and have to go somewhere in rain suits and sit on their PFDs while waiting for the storm to pass. After a few nights of this she was tired and wanted to go back to sleep.
I love that she cracked and learned that cracking and breaking are two different things. She’s going to be unbreakable before she leaves this house. I just know it.
The kids both missed each other. This is how I know I’m a success as a parent. I like that they’re strong students. I like that my kids are athletic and I enjoy their moments of altruism. But I know that Mr. G and I have done something wonderful when our kids want to be together.
Jane wanted to know what happened while she was gone. I told that we went to see Spiderman, eat at a million restaurants (I didn’t tell her that we ate out so much because setting a table for three is depressing), bought a dozen pair of shoes, the cat drank my tequila and I paid the vet $220 to put his finger up Junior’s arse. I’m pretty sure the vet doesn’t make enough money.
The kids are in camp today and we’ve got another two weeks before they both blow out of here for more camps.