For the first time, Frances is going to a day camp that isn’t operated by people that she knows.
It’s a big change, but it’s not as big as it could have been–she is also attending with two of her cousins with whom she is very close.
On the first day, there were no tears at separation, but there were many reassuring words and hugs (when she permitted).
It’s a nature-oriented camp that involves activities such as canoeing every day. Pink Cup Dad and I both enjoy canoeing, and we’re happy that Frances is enjoying being on the water (and that she is so closely supervised).
She is surrounded by the outdoors: (animals, dense forestation) with lots of activity (hiking, canoeing, crafting).
She has also met a girl who seems to be very protective and friendly towards her and who enjoys horseback riding, too. This has allayed some of my own fears. This is her new “best friend”. (While she uses this term with everyone with whom she connects, I’ve no doubt that she means it when she says it.)
I signed her up back in February and indicated on the application that she has HF ASD. To my knowledge, she has not required one-to-one support at all and has managed well while just having her cousins there with her.
Next year, perhaps she’ll be ready to attend a camp without her cousins. I can see this happening for her.
Frances takes a break during one of her last few ballet classes.
Frances is almost as mad about horses as she is about dolls…and we love visiting horse sanctuaries.
This past Saturday, we spent the morning at a fundraiser for a local rescue/sanctuary before her modern dance recital.
We met a feisty palomino, a hungry pony, and a friendly donkey… We watched as a standardbred (who has been through far too much in his life) got a pedicure.
We even won a raffle item 🙂
All in all, it was a great day.
I’ve written about it before in a lighthearted manner, but I don’t mean to trivialize the fact that it is very difficult to drive with Frances.
It is hard to admit that the constant chatter is, well, constant: the questions come at us so fast and furiously that I will not drive with her if I’m not also a passenger.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t endearing moments — such as the funny questions that I frequently record — but I would be lying if I said that I always feel patient.
I don’t know why it took me 1.5 hours to think of giving her my telephone. It helped to quieten her for that final half-hour.
At any rate, it was something of a relief as we pulled up to the grand, ancient building in which her lesson is held.
We waited together, Pink Cup Dad, Pink Cup Sister, and I, without talking in the tacit anticipation of one hour of absolute silence.