Monday, February 25, 2008

A Mystery

My daughter is not a closed kid.

On the contrary, Evan is pretty darn good at sharing her emotions, her ideas-- often in amazing detail.


There are these times -- for about an hour on most days -- when she wants to be by herself.

"To do a story," as she puts it.

Sometimes these stories involve costume changes, elaborate sets and many props.

But more often she'll just sit, still and quiet -- as though in a trance -- behind the couch, or on the far side of her bedroom.

"What are you thinking about?" I'll ask her.

And nine times out of ten -- in a tone of quiet determination -- she'll give the same response.

"I'm not telling you."

I remember the first time I found her "doing a story."

She was only a year and a half.

It was late in the day. We'd just finished reading a stack of Dr. Seuss books when I realized I had to start working on dinner. So I left her sitting in the middle of the living room floor, looking intently at "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"-- while I went into the kitchen to chop vegetables.

Several minutes later, I found my little girl lying on the floor behind the couch.

Not making a sound.

At first I thought it was kind of weird that she'd gone back there and fallen asleep.

Until -- with a start -- I saw that her eyes were wide open.

"Sweetie, what are you doing?

And in her tiny toddler voice, she said:

"I'm not telling you."

Staring down at my girl -- flat on her back, looking serious as all get out -- I didn't quite know what to make of her.

It just seemed so strange.

After shaking off this initial reaction, I came to the conclusion that my daughter simply has one powerful imagination.

Sure, it sometimes bothers me-- that she keeps secrets this early.

But since she's not a secretive kid in general, I'm thinking it's okay for her to keep these stories -- this inner world -- to herself.

And then too, it makes me appreciate the rare glimpse into that inner world all the more.


Anonymous said...

I wonder what she'll have to say once she starts writing...;)

Nicole P said...

Indeed. I wonder what she'll have to say too.

I also wonder if there's more to it than imagination. Some children are much more in tune to the stuff that's in our world that most of us don't/can't see or don't/can't acknowledge or pay attention to. I know others have said before, and I think too, that she's got the look of an old, wise soul.

Hope all is well.

- N

Donna said...

She is such a special girl. Those eyes - she looks like she's thinking all the time. What a cutie!

Shannon said...

This reminds me of the Britney Murphy movie where she chants "I'll never te-ell." LOL.

I think it's really special that she has her own little daydream time that she's kept loyal to.

Sandra Miller said...


She already has started writing. :-)

She used to dictate to me, but now just keeps asking, "how do you spell... ?"


I sometimes wonder that, too.

Because every once in a while after doing a story she'll come out with one of these existential questions that justs blow me away.


Thanks. :-)


Never saw the Murphy flick-- I get the feeling I might not want to, either. :-)

And yeah, I think it's pretty cool too.

Kendra said...

I used to do this on long car trips to entertain myself. I bet she'll be writing novellas before she's out of elementary school ;)

Jillian said...

Like Nicole said it seems like a little more than just imagination. Whatever it is Evan is a very special and intelligent girl. Since she's already writing, it looks like you'll have a special guest contributer for the blog very soon!

Scott K. Johnson said...

I think that's pretty special.

Plus - an hour of undisturbed time for mommy? Heck, my daughter never stops talking. Ever. Unless she's sleeping.

Minnesota Nice said...

Beautiful new pic of both kids together. I love it.

art-sweet said...

I think she's going to be a great storyteller some day.

Chris said...

There are special children. Then there are those who really make us think that they are far beyond being special. It is exciting to see eventually where they end up.
And she is the most adorable little girl too.

k2 said...

Both of your kids sound like a real pieces of work!

I'll look for her books in the future at Borders!