Letter to Camille: 98 Months
Hello sweet sleeping girl, and Happy 98 Months to you! Tonight, as you snooze away upstairs, I’m sitting at the table in the company of your family of ants. You decided to spend some of your birthday money on an ant farm, and just a couple of days ago the habitat was finally ready for your new ant friends.
Tonight, I had a meeting to attend, and was delighted when I flipped open my notebook to find your Ant Observation Journal: Day 1.
I do believe you made these observations on a Sunday, so naturally the ants were going to ant church. And digging tunnels. And apparently riding roller coasters. You observed that they:
- are from the same colony (important or they’d fight each other)
- are not angry
- are happy
- love you
Tonight, I asked you about their ant church and what kind of church it might be. Muslim and Jewish you declared. Well there you go. Who knew?
You do love creatures big and small, that’s for sure. One of your favorite activities of late has been to kayak out to the mud flats and look for creatures when we go up the river in the boat. Recently, you and buddy Maggie organized an entire “Snailville” for a group of periwinkle snails, making sure to include important civil engineering projects like roads and bridges for them. You were 100% positive that this delighted the snails.
It’s been a hot and sweaty last bit of summer, but that obviously hasn’t kept us indoors. Last weekend we went camping with a group of buddies on Hunting Island. It’s a beautiful campground, situated on an undeveloped beach in a state park – perfect for exploring.
But most of my pictures seem to be of us eating good campfire food and lazing around in the hammock – also important pursuits.
We have welcomed one new indoor activity in this past month – the Armstrong Youth Orchestra.
You’d been practicing diligently for your audition, and when the day finally arrived you were filled with nervous butterflies. As was I. Not that I thought you wouldn’t do well – I was optimistic about your chances of passing the audition – but I just hoped and hoped it would be a good experience for you overall. And it was.
You came out of the audition area all smiles, with a slip of paper announcing that you’d be playing viola in the Debut Ensemble.
The first day of rehearsal arrived, and I think you were just as nervous about this as you were the audition. As the members of the ensemble began to trickle in, the conductor encouraged you all to warm up. Here you are watching buddy Hart warming up with his violin.
All around the room I could catch bits of Suzuki songs that you have been playing for months and that you know by heart, but your instrument stayed in your lap during the warm up. You didn’t want to draw attention to yourself. Realizing that, I put away the camera as well.
But once the rehearsal began, you played with a confidence that was fun to see. The music wasn’t too challenging, the conductor was kind and welcoming, and your nerves quickly eased away (as did mine).
Since that first rehearsal, you’ve been even more enthusiastic about practicing your instrument at home. I think you are proud to be part of this group, and want to feel confident each time you come into the rehearsal room to play.
I’m very proud of you for taking on this new challenge, and I am looking forward to watching you grow with it.
Ok – I think the ants in your ant colony have gone to sleep (or died – who knows? This is our first ant rodeo). Now I will head to bed too. Sweet dreams to my very best girl. I love you so much.