We dropped our middle daughter off at camp today. This is her first sleep-away camp experience, but she was not in any way hesitant to go. On the contrary, as soon as we arrived at her appointed cabin, she started running in circles around the cabin with a friend. I’m sure she was missing us on the inside. Right? She is to learn some survival techniques: fire starting, camp cooking, navigation with a compass and a GPS and emergency shelter construction, to name a few. I’m geeked about camping with her this summer; it’s about time that she pulls her weight instead of just being a stone around my neck in the wilderness. I’m going to sit back with a cold beer while she pitches the tent, gathers wood, and makes me a nice campfire meal.

My son was heartbroken about not being old enough to attend camp, so we filled the day with special stuff for him alone, an experience doesn’t come often to the youngest of three kids. He decided on a bacon and pancake breakfast and seeing a movie, Gnomeo and Juliet. The movie was very cute, a nice re-telling of the Shakespeare classic for the youth set. My son was disappointed at first that it was animated. He was expecting, apparently, Romeo and Juliet. “I should have known, because of the name Gnomeo, right, Mom?” He asked me sadly. The movie was true to the spirit of the original, minus the ribald dialogue. The brutality of youth gangs was present, along with a big dose of humor. Oscar loved the movie once it started, and said at the end, “Raise your hand if you loved the movie.” We raised our hands together.

At the library, I was struck by how mature my son has become. When did that happen? He is obsessed with the Septimus Heap series of books by Angie Sage. I searched the library catalog and found that The Magykal Papers was somewhere in the library, not yet shelved. We looked in the likely spots, without luck. Oscar went to the desk, waited his turn and proceeded to explain to the librarian, by himself, exactly what he was looking for. Of course, librarians are pretty awesome, always willing to help find a book. Despite the ever-increasing bad bad bad customer service in every store that I enter, our library has a sign in the entrance that says “Consult the ultimate search engine, your librarian.” And they mean it.