Her: “Mom, read these.”
Me: “What is it?”
Her: “I’ve written poems. Please read them.”
There are a few moments where as a parent one is blindsided by the inexplicable ties that bind us and the traits we inherit from our ancestors. Today I had one of those moments.
She thrust a neat pile of carefully handwritten poems on my lap, and asked my opinion.
Her: “I need you to put my poems on the computer so that everyone can read them.”
Me: “Okay, but how did you…”
Her: “Do you think people will like my poems?”
The simplicity and sincerity of the question struck a chord. How many times as a child, adolescent, or later, as a student, did I, with false confidence and easily fractured ego, offer my words for dissection and appraisal? Countless.
Her: “Do you like these as much as that other poem, ‘The arrow and the song ‘ ? ”
Better than Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?
Me: “Yes, love, anything you ever write I will like a thousand times more than Longfellow.”
She sat beside me as I typed her poems into my laptop, and resisted my suggestions.
Me: “You mean ‘wisdom’ right?”
Her: “No mom, spell it the way it is: wizdome.”
She may have inherited my family’s love of words, but her stubborn character and unwavering conviction to get it on paper? — those she has B to thank for.
It is gratifying and comforting to know that in some small, tangible way, we live on in our children.