Back in January, I realized - with a shock - that we were going to have to send the kid to camp - you know, so we could go to work? So I set about researching local day camps and found one that seemed good, came well recommended, was only an arm and a leg (as opposed to the ones that are two arms and both legs), and included door to door bus service.
The only thing that stuck in my heathen pagan atheist craw just a tiny little bit was that it's a Jewish camp, run by a local JCC. Don't get me wrong - it's not the Jewish part that gave me pause, it's the religious part. But I got over it and camp started last week. The kid is happy, she comes home filthy and tired, and she's supposedly learning how to swim.
On the third day, I got a text from my husband:
She came home with a metallic-blue yarmulke and a small plastic shofar. Retaliation for the ham sandwich?
Yeah, he sent her to camp with a ham sandwich. Oh well. At the parent orientation, they'd said "no pork, no shellfish", but "if your kid will only eat a ham sandwich, it's okay." I guess that's the kind of concession you have to make when half of your campers aren't Jewish.
Anyway, there'd been a band there, playing for the kids, and handing out yarmulkes and shofars - kind of like Lester Lanin tossing out beanies at debutante balls - so, no cause and effect between the ham sandwich and the yarmulke. The yarmulke has since had red yarn attached to it by the child, who's taken to tying it on and wearing it around the house as a "helmet". The wrong person is going to ring the doorbell one day and have a heart attack.
Today, we had the following conversation in the car on the way home from hiking in the woods.
Her: You know what we say at camp in the morning? Boker tov, Camp Disco.* That means hello.
Me: In what language?
Her: Um, camp?
(Daddy nearly drives off the road.)
So, on the one hand, she's getting all kinds of cultural enrichment. On the other hand, she has no idea what any of it means. I guess that'll come. In the meantime, the amusement factor for her parents has been worth every penny.
* Pronounced "booker toe, camp dis-coe" with the emphasis on the toe and the coe.