Letter to Camille: 79 Months

79 Months

Hello sweet girl and Happy 79 Months! As I type this, the three of us are on the couch, and you’re snuggled up to Daddy watching an episode of “Star Wars: Clone Wars.” You are several months deep into a Star Wars obsession, and your Daddy couldn’t be more pleased.
You’ve inhaled the movies, TV shows and books. You’re 8 chapters into a fairly complicated Star Wars book, and nearly fainted with joy when I informed you that on Saturday morning you could stay in bed and read as long as you’d like. I nearly fainted with joy at the thought of sleeping in while you sat in bed reading books. It remains to be seen if this will actually happen.
But by far, your favorite Star Wars activity is playing with your Daddy. On a warm day the two of you can usually be found in the backyard with all his old Star Wars toys, re-enacting favorite scenes or making up new ones. He’s a kid again when he plays with you, with boundless energy and imagination.

Backyard Star Wars

A couple of weeks ago, one of your best pals Nate was in town, and he also happens to be a Star Wars fanatic. I am so thankful that when I saw Jedi costumes on the post-Halloween clearance rack at Target, I grabbed two just in case you had a Jedi buddy someday. Seeing the two of you together was ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS.

Watch Out Behind You!Jedi WarriorsLight Saber Clash

Our backyard became a Jedi training academy, and epic light saber battles ensued. There were only minor injuries, and lots of great photo ops.

Leaping NateCamille Fights BackLove her, I do.

I’ve had plenty of occasions this month to ask myself, Nature vs. Nurture? It’s something I’m sure you’ll hear about in a psychology or science class one day, but the basic question is this: were you born this way? Or did we influence you? Because right now, your two biggest passions just happen to be two of our biggest passions. Star Wars from your father, horses from me. We never tried to push these things on you, but I’d be lying if I said we weren’t thrilled.
You’ve loved being around horses as long as I can remember, and in the last year or so began begging for riding lessons. They’re not cheap so we held out, not wanting to invest too much if it would be a passing whim. But as it became increasingly clear this was a lasting desire, we started the hunt for a riding program.
The day of your first lesson, we were both so excited. I adored horses as a child and never grew out of it. I still love them, and the idea of being around them again made me giddy. The thought of watching you ride made me simultaneously afraid and ecstatic.
I figured they’d assign you a small pony, but no – your first lesson was on the beautiful and amiable Cassidy, a full-fledged horse. You looked so small on her back, but you were so fearless (a little too fearless for my taste!). 

First Riding Lesson!Riding Cassidy

I don’t ever want to forget the moment when the teacher instructed you to give Cassidy a squeeze and tell her to walk. She meant to squeeze her with your legs, but being the big-hearted novice you are, you leaned down and hugged the horse’s neck for a different kind of “squeeze.” I melted.

Giving Cassidy a SqueezeHorse Girl

One day, you may decide to move on from horses to something else, and that will be ok. But for now, we are having A BLAST. 

Ready to Ride

I’ll leave you tonight with one more set of pictures – sweet, sweet pictures of you and your favorite man as you both got dressed up and headed out to the annual Daddy Daughter dance at school. You wore your fanciest red and white dress, and he donned a matching red tie. He got a red rose corsage for your wrist, which you called a “croissant.”

Daddy Daughter DanceHis Silly GirlFancy Dress

He says you two danced for a bit until you ditched him for your classmate Laney. That’s ok, I don’t think he felt too threatened. After all, tonight you told him, “Daddy, on a sc
ale of 1 to 10, I give you 100.” I think his place in your heart is pretty secure.
Thanks for another great month, my Jedi equestrienne. My sweet daughter. I love you so much.

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