Last Sunday, we all took a trip up to Echo Hill Camp to visit Kate, our ten year-old, who is gone for four solid weeks.
For anyone who doesn't know Kate, she is an amazing kid--bright, talented and insightful, but also (much like both of her parents--at least as kids) hardheaded, a little odd and maybe just a little socially awkward. When I arrived, I was struck once again (this does happen a lot) that the first thing out of the mouths of her counselors (literally within two minutes of meeting me) was to tell me what an amazing girl I have.
Now, it's not that I didn't know that Kate was great, but sometimes in the midst of all of the arguing about how much time is spent on Webkinz and whether hair and teeth have been brushed and whether homework has been done and whether candy is being hoarded somewhere in the vast wasteland of her room--not even mentioning the state of the space under her bed, it's easy to lose sight of that kind of thing. (I'm sure you can relate if you're a parent.) And sometimes, it just takes someone you've never met giving you that little inkling into who your kid really is to remind you that maybe you ought to step back and smell the roses, so to speak (though maybe not literally if one of the things you are arguing about is how often it is appropriate to shower).