Letter to Camille: 68 Months

68 MonthsHappy 68 months my sweet girl! We have just wrapped up another busy weekend during one of our favorite times in this fine city – St. Patrick’s Day and the onset of spring. Last weekend Nana was in town as we officially kicked off the St. Pat’s celebration with a Shamrock race Friday night and then Tara Feis on Saturday. We picnicked in Forsyth Park near the green fountain and ate funnel cakes by the river.

Forsyth ParkGreen Water!The LadiesAzaleasThen the next weekend, we enjoyed the St. Pat’s parade with Mr. Glen, as we gathered with friends on the steps of our church to watch the floats and bands go by.

Parade with GlenWith Buddy JThen Sunday was a perfect boat day, complete with a steamed shrimp feast. You peeled your own shrimp for the first time and found it wonderfully fun to pull the tiny legs off and toss them in the river. Food just tastes better when you have to work for it a little bit, right?

Calm WaterPortholePeeled her first shrimpThis month seems to have been a really good one for you at school, as I think you’re more adapted to your Montessori classroom. It took you some time to get comfortable with the process and to feel confident that you knew what was expected of you, but things finally seem to have clicked into place.

There are still days you don’t want to go to school, but I think that has more to do with not wanting to get out of your pajamas and into the car than anything else. When you whine about it, we often remind you why school is important. Apparently, you do listen to us. A couple of weeks ago you were sick and running a fever, so you had to miss two days of school. At one point, you began to fret and said, “Mama, if I miss school, I won’t grow up to be smart like you and Daddy. I won’t do well in college. I won’t get a good job.”

No pressure, right?

I am amazed at how your reading has developed in the past few months.
It’s hard for me to believe we started this school year not reading, and
now you can read stories to us for a change. And you love
math too, not just in the classroom but all the time. You enjoy
randomly pulling money from our change jar to count it, or rushing over
to tell me that the 5 horses you are playing with have 20 legs

A few weeks ago we scooped a handful of money from that family change jar to bring to class for a Red Cross fundraiser. We put it in a ziploc bag and tossed it in your backpack, and I explained to you why we were sending it and how it might help people.

As we were headed out the door for school, I had another idea. “Camille, do you want to give money out of your own piggy bank?”

I really didn’t know how you’d respond. You love putting money in your piggy bank, and I honestly wasn’t sure how you’d feel about taking money out and not getting something in return.

But your face lit up with excitement as you bounced up and down. “YES! YES! YES!” you said, and then rushed off to pull quarters from your personal stash.

When we got to school, you could hardly wait to show the bag of coins to your teacher. “I put my own money in there!” you beamed.

Your clear glee at being able to help made me realize that we should be doing more of this. As happy as I am to do math flash cards with you and practice reading to encourage your school skills, I think it’s just as important to encourage your compassion and empathy.

But what to do? There is a lot of charity work we can do together when you’re a bit older, but what’s appropriate for a 5-year-old? I asked the folks at the Senior Citizens Center for ideas, and they had a perfect one: creating cards to be given to the elderly folks served by the Meals on Wheels program.

Thankfully we have friends with like-minded parents who were eager to make this a group project, and one that we hope to repeat and expand as you and your buddies grow. You all spent an afternoon together last week making birthday cards and “Have a nice day!” cards, and we talked about the Meals on Wheels program and about the importance of caring for the elderly.

Card-making partyMaking cardsCards, cards and more cardsI wish we could deliver the cards ourselves so you’d have the personal connection, but the seniors’ meals are served at lunch and, well, we’ve already talked about why you have to be in school. But no matter who delivers them, I imagine these cards will be met with smiles.

Butterfly LoveI hope you like buttterfliesFrom MaggieBirthday HorsesThanks for another great month bear and for all the love you give. I couldn’t be more proud of the girl you are, or more excited to see the young lady you will become. I love you.

Leave a Reply