When I was four, I remember sitting down at my preschool table to paint a mom, a dad, and two kids on a blue and white piece of gingham fabric. At the bottom, I spelled out the word FAMILY.
I still recall the teachers rushing over, shocked shocked at the word I had written without having done so before. I shrugged, “I just sounded it out.” But I still remember, even then, that I was proud of a word with more sounds in it than cat or dog or Liz or Dad.
Last night I caught a glimpse of Thalia furiously working over a sheet of construction paper.
I was feeling all obnoxiously proud, the way you’re never supposed to admit that you often feel as a parent lest someone call you out on it. All I wanted to do was race through the town screaming at the top of my lungs that my daughter is starting to learn how to write. SHE’S WRITING! SHE’S WRITING! Which, as a writer, is my greatest pride. Not that I wouldn’t be happy if she also learned how to kick a field goal or solder two pieces of iron together. But still. She’s writing. Oh joy.
Now here is where I must admit that Thalia did write Mamily, the first time.
What can I say, she’s her own person.