June 28, 2012

Camp Excitement

On Monday we made the long drive to Girl Scout camp, deep in the dead end of a canyon almost 3 hours away to drop off my beloved first born for 5 nights of horse camp.  The days leading up o the drop off were unusually stressful because Hannah Jane had to have smooth bottom boots with a half inch heel for her stable time and her prosthetic foot makes wearing boots virtually impossible.  Boots really require you to point your toe, and a prosthetic foot just doesn't allow for that.  So we needed boots with zippers on the side so they could open way up for anon-pointing toe.  Hard to find.  After dragging the kids to every single shoe store we knew of, we finally, in an act of desperation, hit the mall.  There we found the only zip up boots in town, but the bottoms were only sort of smooth, the heel was at least an inch, if not more, and they were not only expensive, but we had to buy two pairs.  One for her big foot, one for the prosthetic foot.  It hurt to pay that much for shoes that I wasn't sure they would allow her to wear, but having boots in her bag as she skipped of to camp eased her mind a little.

Last year, at drop off for the 2 night camp, when I discussed what she had my permission to do barefoot if in fact her foot broke, it was made clear that they weren't planning to make any accommodations for her if she needed them.  I was annoyed when they said, "It's not about what you give permission for her to do.  It's about the rules and we can't allow her to break them just because she has a prosthetic foot."  Yeah...That didn't sit well with me, but she stayed and had a ball.  This year, with the shoe requirement, she remembered how inflexible they were planning to be last year and she panicked.  I told her, "Look.  The odds are good that everything will go fine.  And if it doesn't, and they don't let you participate because of your foot, we'll grab a lawyer and you'll get to be a pioneer for the rights of those with limb differences!"  She smiled.  For those of you who don't know us personally, that girl can do everything on earth.  I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom.  People that we meet in the winter, when pant legs are long and shoes stay on, don't realize she has any difference.  Many times we've made new friends in the winter months and when summer rolls around and Hannah Jane shows up in a skirt or goes barefoot in the grass, moms are suddenly embarrassed for not having noticed.  So really, she does everything every other 8 year old does and the thought of her not getting to participate at horse camp over shoes stressed us all out.

We showed up to camp check-in, had the usual discussions, mentioned the shoes, were told they may or may not work, but that they'd try and find something for her in the boot shed if they didn't, and were led to her bunk.  The other mom from her troop was just as sure as I was that the original description of this camp said bunk houses, but we were led up a long path into the woods to a cluster of tents with 4 cots in each.  No grown up in each tent.  Just 4 8 and 9 year old girls, with a tent of teenagers somewhere within ear shot. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have signed up if she had known she'd be in the wilderness instead of the dorms like last year.  But she didn't try to back out.  She just claimed the bed next to hers for her friend Rachel, gave us hugs, and wandered off into the woods with her counselor to find a spigot for her water bottle.  Every night, Joe has asked, "Do you think Hannah is asleep yet?"  And I have no clue.  Will she be able to sleep with wilderness noises and no adult proclaiming to protect her from a bear of snake?  I guess I'll find out on Saturday.

On the way home, the boys and I hit a place called Trafalga, which has go-karts and bumper boats, and to their great excitement, indoor rock climbing.  Hunter had actually been saying on the drive to camp that he wanted to try rock climbing and the place we picked to stop and walkout some energy on the way home had it!  What luck!

After that stop, we swung into IKEA.  My first every IKEA visit and I thought it was the best place on earth!    Everything is colorful and pretty and the cafeteria was surprisingly awesome and the prices were hard to resist.  While I was there, I could envision some future community where all of the homes were 500 perfectly designed square feet each and there was ample green space for everyone because of it.  Yeah, I just listened to the Giver (BEST BOOK EVER!!!) on the drive to Bryce Canyon last weekend, so I have visions of creepy, imperfect Utopian communities swirling in my mind.  IKEA fed those visions perfectly!

IKEA lunch while watching Mulan in the super multicolored dining area.

I bought a few things for our bedroom, making it so fabulous that I have happily gotten up and made my bed and vacuumed each and every morning just so I can see how amazing it now looks.  I bought the boys this adorable little door that you open and it has a mirror inside.  It was the perfect for for the tree house door painted on their bedroom wall and I tucked combs into the door pockets so they have a place to go groom themselves in a more boyish way.  And I grabbed a few things for the school room.  We're dragging Joe there on Sunday after we've picked up our little scout and gone camping in Sundance because we've been talking bunk beds for ages now and they had the absolute perfect bunk bed.  Plus, the kids really wanted to be checked into their play area, which looked like a forest themed bounce house with movies and coloring and I didn't do it because we were in a bit of a rush to get home in time  for family swim night.

So that's all the news from our neck of the woods.  Just a couple days left until we pick up our girl!  That's about all I can think about these days.  That and my book deadline.  I'm hoping to shoot my second draft back to the editor by Monday, but with the hyped up emotional state I've been in over camping and prosthetic feet and riding shoes, I've been a little less focused than I could have been.  I sent her with a digital camera, so she'll probably have some cute pics to share.  Can't wait to see them!  If they're good, I'm sure she'll share on her blog and I'll post a link!

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