I was cleaning up and rearranging the house the other day in an effort to create a new sewing area for pursuing my design work. As you can probably imagine, this meant the house getting temporarily worse as I tried to make it work better. There were books moved to different shelves, papers to sort through, and new shelves to fill with supplies and home wares.
As I was sorting through it all I came upon my daughter Chloë’s letters from camp. Not being able to resist a little trip down memory lane, I read them all.
Chloë is a voracious writer. Anyone who has met her at ‘Ghany has probably received a letter from her. She’s truly a reliable pen pal. In fact, Santa Claus was even good enough to supply her with her own bevy of stamps, I think in an attempt to keep her parent’s supply from running dangerously low all the time.
The pony express
While reading her letters one struck me again as among the most unintentionally hilarious things Chloë has ever committed to paper. I offer it to you in full:
Camp is sooooo fun! Everyone is so nice and my tent mates are the best. We’re having so much fun and I am so happy to be here!!!!
Oh, I need you to send me some things. I forgot my sleeping bag and I really want to have it because some of us are going to sleep out one night and besides I just want to have it anyway on my bed.
I also really, really, really, really want a Crazy Creek. Will you get me one please and send it? I want blue but any kind you want to get is fine, I just really, really want one because I don’t want to have to sit on the ground and I don’t like that other kind of chair because everybody else has a Crazy Creek.
Oh, and can you send me my pink tank top and some embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets and some sweatpants and my other sneakers and more stamps, like two packs and if you can get the Gregory Peck ones that would be great. I also need some more books and a different blanket because the one I have is damp sometimes. Another towel would be good, too. And will you put some money in my account and can you send me everything tomorrow because I really want a Crazy Creek and my sleeping bag right away because we’re going to camp on Friday.
A teaching moment
Now before you get the impression that my dear girl is a very greedy and demanding sort, let me correct the record.
Chloë actually asks for very little and is not materialistic in the slightest. Forgetful, on the other hand, does describe her pretty well. And benignly oblivious at times.
In the end, I sent her more embroidery floss, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, five more stamps, and a sheet of “rub-ons” (the little stickers that she uses to embellish the envelopes of her many letters). Her grandmother, YaYa, added some money to her account.
On the sunny, upbeat card I sent with the goodies I tried to break it to her that the expense of shipping so much stuff (as well as ordering a Crazy Creek and getting everything together) just wasn’t going to happen, especially since I was picking her up on Saturday!
It’s been fun this year, then, to watch Chloë start to do so much babysitting. In fact her favorite pint-sized client is none other than local ‘Ghany legend Mason Shreckhise, tow-haired son of Camp Director Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise.
Through babysitting, Chloë could begin to set some goals, like how much she needed to save, and how much she could set aside for getting a Crazy Creek and ‘Ghany Girl sweats—among other things. She even chose to send some money to St. Jude’s hospital at Christmas.
I’m proud to say she’s arranged regular babysitting gigs during the school year and amassed quite a little account. She once even bought her own pack of stamps after going through her gift pack in two-days. I think she’s growing up a bit, though fortunately she’s got several more years in which to be a camper! She even has her sights on becoming a counselor one day.
It’s good to have goals.
–Lindsay Curren, Parent