Happy 58 months, my bear! At this moment you are enjoying one of your favorite activities of the week, your Daddy/Daughter date. You and your Daddy have continued the tradition of Thursday morning breakfasts at Clary’s, the neighborhood restaurant down the street from your school. You love these mornings, and your first words to us on Thursdays are usually, “Happy Daddy Daughter Day!”
You and your Daddy have a good time together, and not just at Clary’s. You two still regularly enjoy putting on impromptu rock shows in our guest bedroom, and you love to tinker with the effects on his pedal board. It changes the sound of his guitar, and you’ll try out a few different buttons but always come back to the loudest, most distorted sound. The one you call “Rock it Out.”
I suppose it’s in your DNA. Your Daddy and I both love live music, particularly rock shows. Many years ago your Dad befriended musician Greg Dulli of The Twilight Singers. The band’s current tour included a stop in Atlanta earlier this month, and we all decided to make the trip up so he could go to the show.
We still have about 14 years before we can take you to a rock show at a club, and by then going to a show with your parents will be, like, totally lame. But your Daddy had the brilliant idea of taking you to sound check. You’d get to see what a rock band is really like, but at 5 in the afternoon instead of 10 at night, and without all the sweaty, drunk people.
In anticipation of the event, your Daddy bought you some noise reduction headphones (it’s too late to save our ears, but not too late to save yours!) and he also let you hear some of their music in advance. He played one of their slower tunes, and you said, “But Dad, this doesn’t really rock.” So he switched to a more up-tempo number and you approved.
We showed up at the Masquerade club just as the band members were heading into their tour bus to eat takeout sushi, and they invited us to come inside. The bus was pretty awesome and Greg gave you a grand tour.
Then we went inside the club for sound check, where you split your time between dancing to the music and trying to climb on furniture and stair rails and such. During the course of our time there, in addition to good music you also heard some colorful language that I hope you promptly forgot. Then as we left you tattled on one of the band members for smoking (he totally looked ashamed, too). Ah, you have much to learn about the world of rock ‘n’ roll, my love, but hopefully many years ahead of you for that education.
That outing was just one in a month full of travel which found us on the road three out of four weekends. I remain
very grateful that you are such a good traveling partner. We spent
Easter weekend in Tennessee with Nana and Granddaddy, hunting eggs in
the neighborhood and getting all dolled up for Sunday church.
next weekend we went with Lola, Fletcher and their parents to Hunting
Island for our first tent camping trip of the season. We all had a great
time, but Sunday morning I realized just how much you enjoyed it. You
woke up, picked your head up off your sleeping bag and immediately began
“What’s wrong, Camille?” I asked.
“I don’t want to go home today,” you wailed. Enough said.
After our rock show experience in Atlanta, we traveled to Athens to spend the weekend with our Valles buddies, watching Nate play ball and then getting dolled up with your “cousin” Nia. You called her your cousin the other day, and when I informed you we were not related you were shocked and disappointed. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find friends who feel like family, so I said you could call her your cousin if you wanted. And you did.
While we were in Athens, we also had the chance to visit the farm of my former UGA Equestrian Team coach, Kat. My time with that team was very special, and I adored Kat. She taught me so much about horsemanship, and despite the fact that I was such a novice, she always encouraged and believed in me.
You dressed for the occasion in your cowgirl hat and pink boots and were excited about a trip to the farm. You’ve had several pony rides already, but have also lately shown an interest in horse care. Kat was so generous with her time and brought the sweet pony Hollywood (called “Woo” for short) out of his stall to teach you a few basics.
It was a pretty cool feeling watching you learn about the brushes, combs and tools from my former coach. You groomed Woo like a pro, and when it came time to clean his hooves Kat told you what to do and you leaned in and picked up his foot like it was no big deal.
Let me stop there for a minute. As much as I love horses, they still make me nervous sometimes. When I hold that hoof I can’t help but think about how easy it would be for that big animal to knock me in the head with it. And you tend to be so timid about things, never wanting to do something that might cause the slightest injury. But Little Miss, when it comes to horses, you have no fear.
Ever the overprotective Mama, I rushed in to help with the hoof-holding as you cleaned it. Then when it was time to lead Woo through the barn, you wanted to hold the lead rope by yourself. “Mama, I’ve got it,” you said.
Kat saddled him up and let me take you for a walk in the riding ring. Your previous pony rides involved a western saddle and no reins, so this was your first chance to sit in an English seat and learn how to properly wind the reins through your hands. You looked beautiful and completely at ease on Woo’s back. Before the ride was through you asked, “So when do I get a pony of my own?”
Sigh. If only it were so easy! Mama wants one too!
Sweet girl, I’d give you the moon (and a bunch of ponies) if I could. But for now you’ll have to settle for all my love. Thanks for being so generous with yours as well. The other day you were giving me a giant hug and said, “Mama, I wish I could hug you forever.”
Melt my heart. I’d hug you back forever too. I love you.
She is such a little adventure beauty! This letter may be my favorite one to her, so far. It captures so much of her blossoming spirit and personality. (Such a sweetie.) It also captures the amazing way you and Lee parent and cherish her. Beautiful.
Thanks for those kind words Nikki!