While the novel is still in process, I have also been working on some short stories and flash pieces. I have also dabbled in a bit of prosetry. Today, I offer up this loving tribute to one of the most important people in my life - my daughter.
My daughter no longer believes in damsels in distress rescued from the dragon by knights on white steeds carrying magical swords.
This is to be expected, I understand children cannot believe in fairy tales forever.
While watching Shrek, she informs me she would pick up a big rock and hit that “ole dragon” in the head, knocking him out cold, and then she would rescue herself. She says, “I don’t need no man, I can save me.”
My daughter is three.
My daughter no longer believes that through compromise and change any relationship is possible.
This is to be expected, I know it is important for children to build a strong sense of identity so they may also develop positive self-esteem.
While watching Grease, she has many questions. “Why did Sandy and Danny have to change their clothes? And why was Sandy the only one who stayed changed? Why did Danny put his black jacket back on? Why is it always the girl that changes? She was just fine the way she was.”
Then she adds, “I ain’t changin’ for no man. If he don’t like me the way I am, he can kick bricks.”
My daughter – is six.
My daughter no longer believes that love can cross any barrier – including death.
This is to be expected, I realize children need to be grounded in reality rather than fantasy at some point in their lives.
While watching Ghost, she doesn’t even stay in the room to finish the film. Throwing her hands up in disgust, she heads to her room. “This is the most ridiculous movie I’ve ever seen! He came back and just hangs out because he loves her soooo much – puh-lease. Like he’s got no place better to be,” she opines.
My daughter is – nine.
My daughter no longer believes in a love so deeply profound that one person would sacrifice anything for the other.
This is to be expected, I recognize children must learn to rely on themselves above anyone else.
While riding in the car, “Grenade” comes on the radio and I can see her out of the corner of my eye, grimacing and rolling her eyes. When I question why, she tells me, “Do you really think he would catch a grenade for her? Really? Jump in front of a train for her? Take a bullet in the brain for her? Gimme a break! How stupid do these people think we are?” She flips the station and the rant is shelved.
My daughter is – twelve.
At this point, I am beginning to fear my daughter has become a cynic – a skeptic – a misandrist – and I find it all just a bit disheartening, then it happens – her first boyfriend. Followed shortly by her first heartbreak.
This is to be expected, of course, I am well aware of the potential pitfalls involved in sharing your heart with another person.
She storms through the house, ripping the necklace from around her neck and slamming the front door behind her on her way to the dumpster. After locking herself in seclusion for about four hours, she emerges determined and focused.
“You okay?” I inquire. The deluge of words pours out, “He is a pussy, and I told him so. I mean, who does that? Breaks up with someone through a text message. I also told him if he can’t see my worth, that’s his problem, not mine. I am not a game to be played. I deserve better. I am a queen.”
My daughter is fifteen – and she is going to be just fine.