Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

One on One

Aside from our recent trip to San Diego, it had been a long time since I tucked Skylar in by myself. So I was happy for the opportunity, even though it can still be a challenging task. Tonight she had a last-minute bout of sadness over the brutality of competition for customers in the make-believe world, "Smalltown," that she has built with many other children at her school. I think I'll write more about that complex mode of imagination play and what it tells me about our times in a later entry.

For now, I only want to note that it was gratifying to be able to overcome her resistance to my input and provide her some useful advice. I am beset with doubts these days, so it's good to be reminded that I still have the capacity to be of service in that role. The real pleasure came afterwards, though, when I decided that, instead of reading Lord of the Rings, as we have been for the past few months, I would instead pull some classics from her pre-school days off the shelf.

First was Fox in Sox, a book that holds special significance for me, since it was the book my father liked to read me best. Only this time Skylar read it to me, before asking that I repeat it with my traditional delivery. Then we read the classic picture book Herbert the Lion, which has some of the most darling depictions I've ever seen, including one in which the eponymous feline is sunning himself on the beach in a 30s-style one-piece swimsuit. When we finished, we looked at our favorite pages again. Then Skylar climbed on top of me, saying, "No offense, Dad, but you're really big," and gave me a huge hug before bed. Moments like that can buoy you through a lot of heavyness.
Tags: daughter, everyday
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