Today is Day 2 of The Pea's school field trip to the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School. By tonight she will have learned a lot about the culture of the people during the California Gold Rush through songs, skits, demonstrations and other hands-on activities.
She'll also have read my first letter, dated March 30 1849 (parents were asked to write 2 letters to their children, writing as though it were Gold Rush times and our children were out in the gold fields), and no doubt will be looking forward to receiving the second one. Since neither Alfie nor I accompanied the class as parent chaperones (not that I mind: slaving away at a learning station all day, eating hotdogs and getting 20 excited fourth graders to go to bed with no cellphone coverage or internet connection for 3 days is not my idea of fun), I figured my way of contributing to her Gold Rush experience would be to make my letters
Here's my Day 2 letter:
March 31, 1849
Two days ago your Paw and I sent you into the wilderness, a Greenhorn, to find gold and make our family rich. Tomorrow we will be welcoming you back as a Sourdough in your own right. I hope you learned a lot about the challenges that we Americans faced during this amazing time, the Gold Rush, when so many people risked life and limb to pursue their dreams. I hope you learned that you can be an independent and responsible individual when you put your mind to it. And I hope you learned to drive a mule-drawn cart without having anything fall off the back (especially your brothers). But most of all, I hope you had fun.
I wouldn't be your mother if I did not take this opportunity to remind you to please make sure you take home everything you brought with you. If you lose anything, your Paw and I will have to sell our third mule in order to get the money to replace everything you lost. You'll have to churn lots of butter in order to make up for that one!
Looking forward to seeing you again,
Your loving Maw
Tomorrow The Pea and her classmates will be returning to our crazy 21st century life. I wonder which life she'll decide is more exhausting?