If I had been on the ball this week's post would have been last week's post, since last week was my eldest daughter Pallas' birthday. But I am not good at calendars so. She turned seven! Getting so big. And it's been really cool lately because her reading has been improving by quantum leaps and bounds. Although she still hits the occasional wall:
Pallas: Mom, can I have a s-h-a-w-e-r tonight?
Pallas: Aw, please!!
Anyway, I've been buying her book and comics since before she was born, but this year for her birthday I chose a specific book that I am very excited to read to her, and for her to read to me: Shel Silverstein's Where The Sidewalk Ends.
Do you know it? I didn't, back when I was a kid. I feel like it would've been fairly formative for me, if I had. But at least I can share it with Pallas, with the hopes of instilling in her a love of the written word and perhaps even of writing words. That's the goal, and so far so good.
Pallas: Thanks for the porn tree book, dad!
Me: Um, what?
Pallas: The book of poemtry that you gave me.
Me: Oh right, yes. Yeah poetry is awesome.
Yup, so, it's going great. She reads them quite well, though sometimes I have to help with some of the meanings. The title poem is kind of melancholy and heavy on symbolism, perhaps beyond what a freshly-minted 7yo can handle, but I think I parsed it well enough for the both of us. It's about the end of childhood, right? No? And maybe about striving to return there? I know, let's ask google.
I'm right! Mostly. Did you know he wrote for Johnny Cash? So cool.
And of course, ultimately, I want to introduce her to both my own poemtree, which is definitely kid-friendly, and hopefully have her try her hand at it. With that in mind, I was inspired to write a poem for the first time in forever, for her and also as her, because she once told me her theory on how humans were made and I've been wondering how to do it justice ever since.
You know how I asked about where the first humans came from
And you explained all this stuff and you sounded so lame dumb
That I decided I better figure it out for myself
Even though I can't google or read the books on the shelf
And Dad, I discovered the origin of the species
I'm afraid I must reject the predominating theses
'Tis not a question of religion versus science
Nor even of myths or of legends about giants
No, it's obvious, to those with knowledge, see
That we were created by animal technology
When the bears and the bunnies built a robotic machine
Which turned out to be the first human being ever seen
Now hush with your protestations so indignant
Obviously the robot was built to be pre-pregnant!
- Nathan Waddell