Letter to Camille: 86 Months

Camille at 86 MonthsHello sweet girl and happy 86 months! This may be the latest I’ve ever been with one of your letters, but not for lack of material, just a lack of time to tell you about it all.

What lovely pictures I have to post this month from your very first horse show. You’ve been taking lessons for several months now, and your teacher thought you were ready for the Lead Line class, which is a typical horse show introduction for young riders. In this class, the riders are led around the ring by a person walking next to the horse. You felt that your skills were above this of course. You are completely at ease with these animals, unafraid to ride and always wanting to go farther and faster than I think you should. Around the barn when we’re grooming or tacking up, you’re quick to take the lead rope from me. “I can do it, Mama,” you tell me. And you’re right.

Walking Cassidy

However, I was very glad that your first experience in a show ring would not be a tense one for me, wondering if your horse would cooperate and if you’d be safe. It was a beautiful morning at a farm in Bulloch County, and your class was first. You strode into the ring on Theo, one of the horses from your barn, and showed not an ounce of nervousness. You looked cool and ready, perched atop that pony in your fancy riding clothes.

Getting Ready for the ShowOn Theo in the Show RingPoised and Pretty

The class went smoothly (aside from your pony whinnying at all the other horses around the arena). There were only two of you in the class, and the judge just couldn’t decide and awarded you both blue ribbons. 

Blue RibbonSweet Theo

The rest of the day was spent watching the other girls from the barn ride and hanging out with the horses. How lucky you are to spend so much time around these special creatures. And how lucky for me that I get to tag along.

Hanging with Frodo at the ShowChilling on her Favorite HorseRiding CassidyMiniature Ponies = Too Cute For Me

While you may be very much like your mother in your love for horses, you are far tougher than she was at your age. This month you decided to get your ears pierced. I had always said the decision was up to you – whenever you felt you were ready, we’d do it. I assumed that day wouldn’t come until you were a good bit older (if ever), because you have a healthy aversion to pain. You would ask me if it would hurt and I would always answer truthfully, and that usually ended the conversation. 
But this month, you came home from school after one of your buddies had shown off her newly pierced ears and announced that you were ready. I stalled a few days, but you didn’t relent. 
I stalled a day or two more, because I was the one who was terrified. I remember getting my ears pierced at Claire’s at the Macon Mall. I remember sitting in that tall chair. I remember being shocked at the pain. I remember jumping from that tall chair and running from the store, stopping to sit on a bench near a fountain and crying my eyes out while my mom paid the bill. I am pretty sure I was in middle school at the time.
The thought of watching you do that as a teeny-tiny 7-year-old made me feel ill. 
It just so happened that we were headed up to see Nana and Granddaddy that weekend, so we agreed to have your ears pierced while we were up in Tennessee. I needed as many people as possible for moral support.
And there we were, at another Claire’s in another mall, and you were in the tall chair. You’d picked out some pretty sparkly flower earrings, and didn’t seem nervous at all. Meanwhile, I was hiding behind Granddaddy, unable to watch, as he held your hands. 

Ready to Get Her Ears Pierced

When they pierced your ears, you calmly said, “OW.”
I got out from behind Granddaddy and took your hands, praising you for being so brave. I could see tears swimming in your eyes (as they were in mine), but you blinked them back. And that was it. No fleeing from the store. No hysterics by the water fountain.
Sparkly!Pleased With Herself

You’ve had a great month, bear. And not only because of these two big events – I think you’re just in a happy place right now. School seems to be going well, you are enjoying your cousins, your friends, you
r art supplies, your books. We’re reading Harry Potter together. You are collecting cicada shells in the backyard. You are playing Star Wars with your Daddy. You are being silly. You are doing fun kid things. You are lying on my lap in the grass in the sunshine.

Grass LoungingOmmmmmmm

You’re able to pass through walls too, apparently. 
The other day, you and Jones were chatting in the back seat when you mentioned that you almost never need to use the restroom at school. “Except for secret Ghost Club meetings,” you added. My ears perked up.
Jones quizzed you about this, and through his questions I learned that you and some of your classmates meet in the bathroom sometimes to exchange stories about a haunted house across the street. And during recess time, you’re able to actually pass through the walls of the haunted house and see the ghosts inside. You don’t even have to open the door. 
Jones thinks you’re awesome. 
I do too. Even if you can’t really pass through walls. Even if you just have a fantastic imagination. 
I love you so much sweet girl. And that’s the truth.
A Camille Selfie

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