Paperback Writer

Yesterday, Silas, Petra, and I had a picnic lunch with a dear friend who has just returned after spending a year on the left-hand side of the map. How I have missed her! It was lovely to just relax and talk and connect, after a long year apart.

Her daughters are a good deal older than Silas, but they played with him very nicely. He adored them. One was wearing blue, and the other was wearing pink. My friend told Silas that it happened that they were each wearing their favorite color. When we got home, Silas found a pink crayon under the couch. “This is pink like my friend Eliza,” he said. “Can I draw my friend Eliza?”

I got him some paper and was working in the kitchen when he made his classic frustration gruntwhine. “What’s wrong?” I said.

“I don’t know how to draw it.”

“Just … start with the face?”

“Does it have a ‘Eh’ like ‘Elisabeth’?”

Suddenly, it dawned on me that he hasn’t figured out the difference between “draw” and “write”–and that he wanted to write her name. Oh, and it does start with E. Like Elisabeth. Mind. Blown.

So I spelled it out, and he wrote it. Then he found a blue crayon and asked for the spelling of Maggie’s name.

"ELIZA" in pink, "MAGGIE" in blue

The”ELIZA” in pink, “MAGGIE” in blue

I took this picture before he could scribble over it, which he sometimes does. After this, he drew picture representations of himself, the two girls, and my friend.

I think I showed too much excitement. I offered him a picture that he had drawn as a thank-you note to the family that gave him a ticket to Charlotte’s Web and suggested that he might like to write “Wilbur” on it. He agreed and asked me how to spell that. When I looked at his paper, he had just written “i” six times. Stinker.

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