Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Representing Our Daughters

This is interesting. Kim and I periodically write stories about Skylar's insights. I wonder, sometimes, whether we err on the side of over-representing her. But once one has created a character, inertia tends to have its way. Anyway, I got a random e-mail, not exactly spam but also clearly not to any "me" I know, from someone who also represents his daughter:
One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.

Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. "Dad, I'm thinking of something."

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear.

"What are you thinking?" I asked. "The rain! ;" she began, "is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away."

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. "That's really good, Aspen."  Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked... "Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?"  Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer:

"We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.  When forwarding this message, you will probably not send it to some on your address list because you're not sure how they would feel about receiving it or what they will think of you for sending it to them.

Sad isn't it, how living in today's world has caused us to be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us?
I'm not going to be forwarding this message to anyone on my address list. Still, I think it's worth thinking about. See, I can imagine Skylar saying something along these lines. She is given to the profound insight. And she talks about God a good deal. Her reflections certainly take a more heterodox tack, but the underlying "profundity of the child" that Kim and I discern in them is structured similarly to the sort that this Christian man discerns in his daughter.

I selected the past participle "structured" just now because I'm not sure who is doing the bulk of the structuring. Are we merely slotting our children into narratives that are like a foreign country to them? Or does their desire to bridge the gap between themselves and the adult world impel them to say and do things amenable to our narrativization. The will to represent demands closer scrutiny, not least because it goes hand in hand with the imposition of limitations on the will of the represented.

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