Letter to Camille: 92 Months

Petting the Elephant

Hello sweet girl and belated Happy 92 Months! You are upstairs asleep and I am downstairs worrying about you. Just a little.
Several weeks ago you got a cold. No biggie. You got a cough. That’s ok. But the yucky cough just stuck around and stuck around until we got a phone call from your teacher that you had a stomach ache and looked pale.
When I came to pick you up, I voiced my suspicions to her. Walking pneumonia. You had it a couple of years ago, with a cough much like this one. 
“Yep!” your teacher said. “She’d be the one! She’d be the one to have walking pneumonia.”
At first I wondered if she meant you were sick more often than your classmates, but then I realized she was referring to your sunny attitude. Your lack of complaint even though you were ill.
The doctor confirmed my suspicion. We got some meds and we have a follow up appointment this week, so I really shouldn’t worry. But I do, because I’m me.
I remember having a conversation about this with you one time. “Mom, you worry too much,” you said. 
“I’m your mother,” I replied. “It’s my job to worry.”
“You’re the BEST mom in the world!” you said, which made me wonder if the compliment was because I was clearly the best worrier in the world.

In the Trees

Your illness was the low point in what was an otherwise great month. March is always a favorite around here, with spring in the air and plenty of St. Patrick’s Day fun to go around.

Green Fountain in Forsyth Park

Nana came to visit for Tara Feis, and then we joined a bunch of buddies downtown for the big St. Pat’s parade.

St. Pat's Parade 2014

The parade is full of traditions, one of them being the “kissing of the BC boys.” The Benedictine Military School cadets march in uniform, and each year women of all ages apply layers upon layers of bright liptsick and then decorate the cadets with kisses.

Scoping Out the BC Boys

You and buddy Elsie were standing at the edge of the parade route as the boys marched by, scoping out “all the cute ones.” Later, you told your Daddy that you had difficulty holding yourself back, and that next year you plan to don the lipstick and dole out kisses.
Oh dear. 
Thankfully, the only date you had this month was with your Daddy for the annual Daddy Daughter Dance at school. You picked out your dress months ago, a lovely purple velvet dress, which you paired with white socks in classic Camille style. Your Daddy chose a coordinating purple tie and wrist corsage.

Ready for the DanceDaddy Daughter Dance 2014

As I curled your hair in the bathroom before the dance, I thought about how different these dance nights will be when you’re older. When your Daddy isn’t your date. When it’s a date.

Curling Her Hair for the Dance

I’m sure there will be years when you’ll fret over your clothes and hair, and beg us to extend your curfew. But not this year.
We’d given you permission to stay up until the dance ended at 9, but you were home by 8:30, ready for bed. Daddy tucked you in, and then came downstairs to watch some TV. A band was playing on screen.
“DAD?” you yelled from your room. 
“Yes, sweetheart?” he said. 
“I hear music. Can you turn that down a notch?”
Oh how the tables will turn one day I’m sure!

Dancing with her DaddyFancy Dance Photo

One of my favorite moments of the month happened one Saturday night when we joined friends for dinner at a local restaurant. We were seated near the piano, and when the pianist took a break, your friend Oliver asked if he could play a song. 
Oliver is also 7, and has recently begun piano lessons. He played a song, and your wheels started turning too. We had just come from a viola lesson, and happened to have your instrument in the car. 
“Can you go get my viola?” you begged. “Pleeeeease?”
I wasn’t so sure. I mean, these restaurant patrons didn’t come here to listen to young children play instruments. They came to eat nice food and mostly ignore the piano player in the corner.
But how to tell you this? And your friend’s piano song had been well received. Finally I asked the pianist if one quick viola song would be ok, and he replied with an enthusiastic yes.
So I brought in your instrument. As you played the first notes of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, most of the patrons grew quiet and listened.
You played the song well, and when it was over, you basked in the applause, gave a bow, and even collected a $1 tip. And to your great joy, the pianist asked for another song, and another.

Playing her Viola at B. Matthews

There are plenty of days when you get frustrated learning your instrument. But then there are days like this, when you shine. I was proud of you. Proud of your courage and poise.
Thanks for all the great moments this month – for the big ones, for the little ones, and all the moments in between. I love you so very much.

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