You’re just saying…

The Slayer is lounging with me in our living room. KCRW is blasting on the system. We’re happy and we’re chilling on a drizzly Saturday night. She’s hard at work on a list. She makes lists all the time. Lists of things she wants. Lists of things she admires. Lists of letters she doesn’t quite understand but finds interesting. Little does she know she’s a closet typographer.

At one point, she gets completely frustrated with the capital D she is trying to sketch. She crumples up her paper in disgust. I counsel her. “What’s wrong, honey?”

–I can’t draw a D at all!

–Yes, you can.

–You’re just saying that to make me feel better.

I wasn’t. I saw her D. It was just fine. But I was actually glad to hear her say those words. “You’re just saying that to make me feel better.” That’s a dose of self-awareness I haven’t heard from her much. I worry sometimes that she’s un-attuned to the nuances of speech. Another kid makes a sarcastic comment and she doesn’t get it. The protective me wishes she got it so she could say, “buzz off!” She rarely does. But tonight, she was back in my face and I couldn’t have been more pleased. The truth was that I wasn’t placating her at all. She drew a good D. But that comment was my cue to work with her.

She drew a series of capital D’s. We discussed how to make their curves symmetrical and I taught her how to sketch before hardening her lines. She worked and worked and the next thing I knew she had drawn a perfectly formed D. We high-fived. She was proud. And so was I. 

I love it when she does this–when she perseveres. She’s the strongest soul I’ve ever met.