For my first Fridays from the Archives post, I'm borrowing one of my oldest "thoughtful" posts, from way back in 2009, just a few months after the blog got started. My daughter was, at the time, 3 years old. Rowyn was six months. I love looking back at these little snapshots of life with them then! And with Mother's Day just a couple days away, I couldn't think of a better thing to share.
There'll be a bit from Roseanna Now at the end of this short little thing from Roseanna Then. ;-)
My daughter has this thing. Instead of, you know, looking to see where I am, she'll call out, "Mommy! Where are you?"
Now, usually I'm about two feet away, just behind her. So I'm obligated to give a silly answer, right? I mean, I can't just say, "Right here." That's way too obvious for someone with my caliber of wit (ha. ha ha ha.). So I've taken to saying, "On the moon."
Depending on her mood, she might ignore me, she might laugh, she might insist, "No, you're not!" she might then pretend that the woman in the living room is someone else and talk about her mommy, who is currently on the moon . . . or she might pretend like she's on the moon with me.
That's the most fun--to see the imagination come to life in my toddler. I'm constantly amazed by her recall and the things she'll put together. And I get a little flutter in my heart when she tells me she's going to write books someday too. Yeah, she's only three--chances are pretty darn good her goals will change a few times, lol. But still.
Yesterday she sat down at my computer, asked me to give her a blank page, and just sat there typing. Most of it looked like this:
With the occasional "xoe" thrown in. =) But it was so cool for me, because my little girl's sitting there trying to do what I do, saying as she does it that she's writing it for me.
It's those little things that make it all worthwhile. That get my imagination going. Because you just never know what you might discover when you're on the moon with your little girl.
One of the reasons this still makes me smile today is that Xoe is still writing--with considerably more skill. It's a question I think any writer with kids gets: "Do any of your children want to be a writer?"
For a while there, I would just shrug. Because 3-year-old Xoe's ambitions cooled as she grew. Oh, she wrote stories for her brother when she was 5 and 6, which was adorable. And would frequently say she was going to write a story in the years to follow, but mostly she just drew the pictures for them, made a cover, came up with a catchy title, and then never actually wrote. Which is totally cool--I'd praise the artwork and say it looked great and never pushed her or anything.
But I noticed that when we were all outside of an evening, Xoe would just walk around, clearly in another world. And I'd remember doing the same thing. And I'd wonder if she were perchance building worlds, building stories as I used to do.
A couple months ago she started writing again in earnest, working on a book that she insists WhiteFire must publish once she's finished. I smiled and said, "Well sweetie, first you have to finish it. Let's start there."
Then she let me read it. And oh my gracious. The girl has wit. She has voice--something hard won. She made me laugh out loud. Oh, I could see where it needed to improve--I can never turn off my internal editor--but they're small, doable things. The sort of things I'd ask any writer to work on.
My daughter is a writer. Who also wants to intern with me as a graphic designer.
Maybe I am on the moon--some people might think we creatives belong there, LOL. But if so, my girl really is right there with me, and it does a mama's heart proud. I don't know if she'll really end up making a career of this crazy artistic stuff that holds me captive. But it has a place in her heart. And that makes mine go all kinds of soft and mushy.