Letter to Camille: 78 Months

78 Months

Happy 78 Months my sweet girl! This is one of those letters. One of those, “where do I begin and how do I fit it all in?” kind of letters. 
So I’ll just start at the beginning. When I last wrote to you, we were in the car headed to Tennessee for a Christmas weekend with Nana, Granddaddy, my brother and his family. And of course we had fun. There were s’mores by the fireplace, foot races on the golf course, and general goofiness with cousins.

Golf Course Foot RacesCousins 2012

And there were zebras. And llamas. And the pouring of food onto a slobbery buffalo tongue.
We loaded everyone up onto a tractor one day at the nearby Briarwood Safari for a ride through the woods and a chance to be bombarded by to meet the creatures who live there. We fed deer and llamas and zebras and ostriches. We fed a “zorse” (part zebra, part horse naturally).

Camille and a ZebraDaddy Loves Mr. DeerGranddaddy and His Friend the LlamaUncle Jeff and Aunt Michelle

But I think the buffalos were the biggest hit. They’re so slobbery that it’s recommended you just pour the food onto their tongues. They’ve learned to approach the tractor with eager purple tongues already hanging out, at the ready.

Open Wide!

We also opened presents at Nana and Granddaddy’s house. As soon as you ripped the first bit of paper off your gift from them and spotted the red box with the stars on the side, you screamed out “It’s an American Girl Doll!” You tore off the rest of the paper and flipped the box around to see the front. “It’s Addy Walker! My favorite!”

With Addy Walker

You’d been talking about Addy Walker for several months, ever since the first American Girl catalog appeared at our house (we didn’t ask for one – how did they know?). 
You read and re-read her back story, and then read it to me, and then read it again. Addy Walker is from the historical line of dolls, and in her story she is freed from slavery via the Underground Railroad. 
Slavery is a subject that has interested you since learning about it in school last year. I had not broached the topic, wanting to keep you colorblind as long as possible. But we were at the library last year when you saw a book about Jamaica that had a dark-skinned woman on the cover. 
“Mama, is that Harriet Tubman?” you asked. 
“Nope,” I said, and we kept walking. But then I really thought about what you’d just asked me.
“What do you know about Harriet Tubman?” I asked. 
And the story poured out of you. You talked about slavery. You talked about how terrible it was. You talked about how the slaves would try to escape. How they would have to hide. How people would help them as part of the Underground Railroad.
A few days later, you brought home a drawing you’d done in school. The drawing was of your bedroom. There was a rectangle in the middle of the floor. “That’s where I would hide slaves if I lived when there was slavery,” you explained. “In a room under the floor. We’d have a ladder and a lantern down there.”
“What would you do with these slaves?” I asked. 
“I would hide them until I could help them get to the Underground Railroad,” you said.
Even though I hadn’t been sure you were ready for the story of slavery, I was pleased that once you heard it, you wanted to be on the right side of history.
So I wasn’t surprised that you were drawn to Addy Walker. You were so thrilled to receive her, that for a little while you wouldn’t even let me touch her. You took her to a nearby room and sat alone with her, looking at her, talking with her. You call her your “little sister,” and you have already enjoyed her very much.

"Little Sister"

You and Addie both had a big Christmas, with matching clothes from Santa Claus and an Addy-sized horse. Your buddy Lola got a doll and horse too, and the two of you have had grand playdates.
Christmas Morning 2012

American Girl playdate

Boo provided another big hit of the holiday season – a Wicket backpack. Your love of all things Star Wars continues to bloom, and you can often be seen running around the house with this furry ewok on your back.

Wicket Backpack

After a few days at home, we were on the road again for our annual trip to see Mr. Glen at his home in the mountains of Big Canoe. I cherished the time
we spent on the trail to the lower falls, with spitting rain turning to little flakes of snow as we enjoyed going deeper and deeper into the woods.

Trail to the Lower FallsWith Mr. GlenNature's Balance BeamAt the Lower FallsMama and the Hiker

From Big Canoe, we continued on a path north to see Uncle Trent’s family in Cincinnati. We were excited to visit with them, and we were THRILLED that mother nature had also provided several inches of snow for our amusement.
You and I share many things, and an obsession with snow is surely one of them. Neither of us can get enough, and we’re both ecstatic at the prospect of playing in snow.

Tasty IcicleSledding Family

Uncle Trent secured several sleds and helped us scout some excellent hills for our adventures. By the way, in that picture above – that crazy face you’re making is your tauntaun face. You spent the day pretending to be a tauntaun on the planet Hoth. We threw snowballs. You and your Daddy made an R2D2 out of snow. And we went sledding – lots. 

Snowball FightSleddingMy Snow-Loving Girl

I put together a video of our sledding shenanigans, complete with a wipeout reel of course.
Soon it was time for the long trip home and a return to our routine. But I can’t complain – we sure managed to pack a lot of fun into a month. And after all, even routine life is pretty great with you to keep things interesting. Your mama loves you so much sweet girl.

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