|Hannah, singing at Camp Yavneh|
For the first time since Hannah has attended overnight camp (she's now gone for three summers), we attended a local Friday night Shabbat dinner organized by the camp. It was supposed to be a taste of what Friday nights are like at camp, with services, a festive dinner and singing. The only downside? Well, from a camper's perspective at least, the downside is that your parents are there too. But from a parent's perspective, it's a chance to see a bit of camp life, and who our children are when they're there.
There was a bit of uneasiness among the campers when they were called up to lead the closing prayer of services. Most kids had been sitting with their families, and they weren't unified as a group when they were called up. Hannah stood by her friend, but they hadn't really said hello yet. It was that awkward moment, where you haven't seen someone in months, and you're not sure if they feel the same way you do. And still, those parents are watching. But by the end of the song, the dynamic had shifted. Hannah and her friend went sailing through the crowd to find a table on their own.
I kept stealing glances at that table behind me--they graciously allowed Max to join them, and I think it was the longest uninterrupted dinner stretch we've ever had--but my focus was on Hannah and her friend. There was a moment during singing when hand motions accompanied the song, a short hand clap with the person next to you. The girls didn't hesitate at all. Of course you grasp your friend's hand. Of course you do.
Just like I am with my friends, even my camp friends I hadn't seen in 20 years, there was a familiarity there, an intimacy that's almost hard to describe, but that can be felt. It was so gratifying to see that Hannah has that too. I hope she always does.