Monday, September 26, 2005

a fable

The Loving Father is driving down the highway. N, his 6-year old daughter, sits quietly in the passenger seat. They are alone. He talks animatedly on his cell phone recounting to the person on the other end of the line (let’s call her Sister in a Far Away Land) with great enthusiasm, the triumphs of his 9-year old son, P, as Football Player:

“He’s a fourth grader on a team of 5th and 6th graders, and he absolutely holds his own! He’s doing great! And yesterday he had a soccer game. N had a soccer game too. I’m on my way to pick up P for football practice and then another game, then…”

“So, N is playing soccer too? That’s great. How’s she doing?” Sister in Far Away Land interjects, remembering what her education teacher said in college:

Indirect praise: Let children overhear you say positive things about him/her to other adults. It boosts his/her self-confidence.

“Oh, yeah. She’s playing too. She’s the goalie.” The Loving Father chuckles. “Halfway through the game, her nickname became The Sieve.”


Sister in a Far Away Land’s heart sinks. She cannot see N’s face. She’s fairly certain N does not even know what the word means.


"But someday she will, dammit," Sister in a Far Away Land thinks. "And this, bothers me."

But Sister in a Far Away Land tries not judge because she knows that she will someday, like her brother, simultaneously love and fuck up her children in her very own special way, indirectly or not.

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