You know the kind. You may even have them on your fridge, scattered about. Mine are on the dishwasher – an easy reach for a little girl to tinker while her mother is fixing dinner. When she was younger, about five or so, the sentences my daughter composed were short usually article, subject, verb (The dog sat.) I would pat her head and tell her how proud I was as I stirred at the stove. Then as she grew so did the sentences, adjectives and adverbs thrown in for color. (The ugly man ate purple.) I might nod my head with enthusiasm, cradling the phone between my shoulder and ear while chopping lettuce. But after a while, like most things that are there, just there – everyday, her magnetic words blended into the background of my life.
It was perhaps last Wednesday that I spilled grape juice on the kitchen counter and it ran down the front of the dishwasher. As I was wiping down the stainless steel front I noticed my now nine-year-old daughter’s creations. They gave me pause. How the sentences had changed since I last looked – really looked. And I read and read and re-read. And laughed and cried and marveled at the brave abandon with which she strung these words together. And then envious that I no longer seemed to have the unbridled freedom of youth to just play and mix and take that risk.
I edit myself too much.
So here for your enjoyment are some of the creations that grace the face of my dutiful dishwasher (starting from the humorous and going to the sublime.):
I like ugly buttheads.
Woman will use a rock to smear diamonds.
He loves breast milk and juice.
Pound your peach after the blue moon.
Her sea spray lives in a place.
Scream through winter light and cool rain.
I watch water and sunshine lie on leaves.
Never let me dream about you.
*Some of these may have been written by my daughter’s friends as well. Nevertheless, they are priceless!