Thursday, December 27, 2007

My five-year-old daughter keeps a journal and a diary. I don’t know what makes them different other than the journal has a picture of a fairy on its cover and the diary is pink with a lock on it. Three or four times a week she will sit on her floor for twenty minutes writing furiously in one or the other of her books. Occasionally she will use letters and copy writings from other things in her room. More often she will cover each line of each page with a complex pattern of lines, swirls and squiggles.

One day she announced that she was going to write a story and that it was secret. For three nights in a row, she filled page after page of her journal (or maybe it was the diary) with her own complex writing system, her forehead twisted in concentration. After the third night and more than thirty pages of lined paper filled with her particular writings, I could not take the suspense. I walked into her room and asked, “What are you writing tonight?”

She looked up at me for the briefest moments and said, “I’m still writing my story, Dad.”

“Wow,” I said. “You are really putting in some nice work. Can you read me a little bit about your story?”

She actually stopped writing and gave me one of those looks. The looks that say I know you are a grownup and that you are my father and that I love you but how can you be so stupid. How can you actually make it through the day without my supervision, Dad? I waited in fear, knowing that I had made some foolish mistake and knowing that she was about to let me know what is was. She finally answered in a matter of fact tone, “No, Dad. You know I can’t read yet.”

I slowly backed out of her room and into the bathroom. I looked into the mirror for a very long time and gave myself one of those looks. The looks that say I know I’m a grownup and that I am her father and that she loves me but how can I be so stupid. Who is going to take care of me when she goes to school because I can’t make it through the day without some sort of supervision?
I finally left the mirror and told my wife how foolish I was for asking my daughter who can’t read to read me some of the story she was writing. I thought my wife might take some pity on the village idiot I was becoming. She had no pity or sympathy for me. She simply reminded me that I can go to work the next day and be with other addle minded adults. In my own peer group, I could regain some self-respect and self-confidence. My wife has chosen to stay home and raise our kids. She gets looks like that everyday all day by both of our children. I am her main peer group and luckily I am foolish enough as measured by our four and five year old children that I protect my wife's self-respect and self-confidence.


jOyEnZ said...

lol..i find it funny..well if i was your lil daughter too imma give you that kind of look either...maybe much thnks for dropping by on my blog and leaving me comments...that is loved..thnx..imma link you okay??ty

jOyEnZ said...

yeah sure..i did linked you too...

edson_dias said...

perhaps she'll start blogging someday :-)