Mookie has been doing a lot of writing. Some of her spelling choices are so condensed that she can’t even remember what she meant when we ask her to read the message to us as soon as she’s written it (for example, no one, including her, knows what “nu” spells. Now? No? Know? New?). But some are quite clear. She wrote this in church Sunday and read it to me after the service, so I can provide a transcript.
“[Her name, whited out here by me].
I am doing my homework
but I can’t concentrate because there’s
grownups talking to me, so maybe I’ll just
ignore them, la la la . . .
[her name, whited out by me].
I love “bksgz” for “because” and “knsintae” for “concentrate.” Also, “all” for “I’ll” is excellent phonetic spelling; she says them the same way. It reminds me of a conversation a few days later when she noticed, with excitement, that the word “oso,” in Spanish, also appears in English. I hate to deflate her by telling her that the word is “also.” My favorite bit has to be the “la la la . . .” And when did she learn about ellipses?
The day she did the “trying to do my homework” writing, I had just come from an intense service that dealt in part with the tragedy in Sandy Hook, CT, two days previous. The service was about love, but in response to Friday I added some references to the killings, and one thing I said as an aside was that we have a culture that romanticizes violence and oppression. The father of a ten-year-old boy came up to me afterwards and said that the sermon had made him decide to get the toy guns out of the house. We talked awhile about kids and toy-gun play; I said I thought it wasn’t always a bad thing, but that I couldn’t really say as a parent, since it wasn’t something that had come up for us, Mookie having shown no interest in guns. (For example, she has a couple of space-gun-shaped water pistols, and to my recollection I have never heard her play “war” with them or even talk about shooting anything with them.) So I go and pick her up after the service, and you see the cut-out part of the paper, there? The first thing she does is show me the piece she’s cut out and say, “Look, Mama! A gun!”
Isn’t that weird? Had she heard the grownups whispering about a shooting? Or was it pure coincidence? I can’t think of any time she has showed me a stick or something else vaguely gun-shaped and said, “Look, a gun,” and she does it on that day. I have to conclude she picked up on what was on our minds.