Dear Camille,

I’m so sorry that I missed the New Year’s Eve party at Aunt Susie’s house.
Grandpuff and I stopped in Charlotte at Uncle Coley’s on our way to Florida from Maryland, where Grandpuff used to live.
By the time you read this, Maryland will remain no more than a distant memory, I expect, even though Grandpuff spent most of his life there before deciding to move near us to watch you grow up.

Just after 10 P.M. I had a strong intuition hit that told me to call Mom.
“You must be connected,” Mom said. “We’ve had our first major accident.”
“What?” I quickly asked.
“Camille has been burned. She’s okay, though I’m not sure I am.”

It seems that the chord to the electric wok caught around Mom’s foot as she passed by the kitchen counter and pulled the pan full of scalding liquid from the edge onto the floor.
You happened to be standing there.
A mix of boiling oil, water and spices cascaded downward, directly striking your right arm, and some on your legs, feet and neck.
Fortunately, none hit your face.

As I heard you whimpering in the background, I felt horrible that I couldn’t be there to hold you and offer comfort.
Mom told me how brave you acted as she cut off your shirt, and dressed the wounds, how you barely cried as she followed the doctor’s instructions and applied the salve and put on the bandages.
You made me proud.

I guess the whole situation put a damper on the New Year’s Eve revelry.
Personally, I barely made it to midnight before I crawled into bed wondering how bizarre and frightening it must feel to you, at the tender age of 2, to experience something like that.
I can’t imagine.

As I look forward into the future, I hope and pray that we will forever maintain our strong connection, that I will somehow know when you meet trouble, though I won’t always stand by your side.
My heart will never cease to watch over you.
I couldn’t stop it even if I tried.

Last night I made several failed attempts to put you in your princess bed, the one that Mom made for you.
You would have nothing of that.
“I want Daddy’s favorite arm,” you demanded, mimicking your brother.

With Mom at a rehearsal, the three of us snuggled, in our customary places, Linus on the left, you on the right, both of you choosing Daddy’s arms over a pillow.
Sandwiched between you, I stared at the midnight ceiling.
I wondered how many more chances I would have to enjoy this unique privilege.
I drank in my emotions, full of gratitude to both of you for finding your way to me as your Dad.

A little later, as you slept soundly, I pulled myself away and sat, gazing at your resting face, soft, pure, tender.
I can find no words to express what I felt.

My tears of joy fall on this keyboard as I draw this first letter to a close.

Thank you for letting me love you.


That’s A View From The Ridge…


A few weeks back I wrote a letter to my son Linus. It turned out to be one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable efforts—though very emotional—I have ever gone through. I encouraged everyone to write one.

If you thought about it but didn’t quite yet get around to it, I’m encouraging you again. You will be awed by your own depth of feelings and you will leave a powerful legacy for your children—regardless of their ages.

Please do this. Let me know how it lands.

NOTE: I make few requests of my readers, though I’m once again making an exception in this case. Please pass this Column on to every parent you know. It’s time for a little healing. From my heart to yours, thanks.

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