Yesterday Mookie asked if she were weird; a girl had said, not approvingly, that she was. We affirmed the general virtue of weirdness and said pooh pooh to the girl.

Tonight Mookie was hunting through a drawer for the bag of dried mangoes.

Me: Honey? I don’t appreciate the way that girl made it sound like a bad thing, because it’s a good thing–but you are weird.

Mookie: Why are you saying that?

Me: Well, sweetheart, you just called to the mangoes, “Come to Mummy.”

She started laughing so much she literally rolled on the floor. Hey, I was just quoting her.


Story at six

For her sixth birthday, two years ago, Mookie received a write-your-own-book kit in the shape of a castle, with stickers and gems, no less. I took a picture of the proud author for her to attach to the front, which she will be doing tomorrow because I’ve finally printed it out in the right size for the little tower window provided.


Here’s the complete text, with transcriptions.


Once upon a time in a little pretty castle there lived a pretty queen and a handsome king.


And also a very pretty fairy that they had rescued.


And she had a little bunny rabbit and she fed it every day.


But this day was special because I found a book.


And when I opened it everything turned green, and purple stars started to shoot out of the book.


When I opened my eyes I saw trees.


Apple trees, in fact, and they looked ripe to me.


So I picked one and ate it.


I saw the sun shining.


I saw wizards juggling stars. I saw jewels and valentines and flowers and butterflies and green grass.


I love this story so much. It moves effortlessly from the castle with its conventional queen and king, to a fairy and bunny rabbit, to the fairy’s own telling of the adventure of the magical book, to the things that happen when she enters into that book. I love the way Mookie supplements the stickers with her own drawing, such as the carrot she’s added to the bunny and the impressive beard on the king. I love the spiral in the sun. She takes her cues from the stickers and makes the story her own, such as when she bridges the tree sticker and the apple sticker with a drawing of an apple tree (“Apple trees, in fact, and they looked ripe to me” is a line that always makes me laugh out loud with sheer happiness). It’s also very cool to look at it two years later, enjoy her creative phonetic spellings (“oso” for “also” being a particular favorite of mine) and also be stunned at how quickly she has learned more orthodox spelling. Mookie still loves this book, showing a tolerance for her ignorant younger self that I found difficult to muster at her age–I was often a little embarrassed by my previous lack of knowledge, sometimes more than a little. Mookie’s way is much happier.

She still loves to write, filling blank books with multi-chapter tales. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.


Woke up at 5 (hello kitty). Mookie heard me. “Mama, is that you?” “Yes.” “I just want to kiss you.” She reached up, hugged and kissed me, said, “Goodnight, Mama,” and slipped back into sleep.

The quote from Rumi that Joy and I put on our wedding order of service comes back to me.

“I am so small I can barely be seen.
How can this great love be inside me?”

Playground wisdom

Mookie was in a playground when she observed, “Sometimes you just can’t go back the way you came.”

The adult friend she was with writes, “Preach, amazing child. Thank you for being in my life.”

The feeling is mutual, B. You are such a gift to our family. Mookie loves you, and so do her moms.


Mookie is pretending to be a baby bird. Naturally, since it’s breakfast time, I mime regurgitating chewed-up worms into her beak.

Me: Ew! I’m glad we don’t eat that way.
Mookie: It’s better than touching tongues.
Me: (laughing)
Mookie: Why are you laughing?
Me: Because grown-ups do that, on purpose. They like it.
Mookie: Really?
Me: Yep. (Wondering: didn’t we cover this in the last “What is sex?” conversation? And how many of those are we going to have to have?)
Mookie: Really really really?


I still haven’t posted birthday party pics. My cell phone died suddenly, so I hope I’ll be able to retrieve them and upload them here some rainy day.

Anyway, I have to report a conversation we had the other day. I was telling Mookie about the Titanic. She wanted to know why the unsinkable ship sank.

Me: It hit an iceberg.
Mookie, in tone of great alarm: Were there any penguins on it?!

Red River Valley

Mookie’s singing class is learning “Red River Valley,” and listening to them the other day I had a flashback to a very sweet memory of her singing it to me when she was about four. I’m sure these aren’t the words they taught her in preschool, but children’s ears have their own logic, and she sang:

Come and sit by my side if you love me,
Come and sit by my side if you do,
And remember the blue vitsy valley
And the one who has loved you so true.

Yes, it says “blue vitsy valley.”

If I tried to describe how much I love my daughter, I would fail. All I could do was show you a film, a snippet from the internal running video of memory, of the sweetness of her voice and the tilt of her head as she sang these words with utter confidence and feeling, and you’d understand. I never even knew this chestnut before she brought the four-year-old’s version home, and now, as long as I live, I will never be able to hear it without tears coming to my eyes.