At my daughter’s school, one of the things the first graders do is to keep a journal. I don’t know what the rules are, or if there are themes or words they have to incorporate – but a journal nonetheless. Well, Zoe apparently finished her first volume, so she got to bring it home today. She made a point of showing me the final entry:
“I love my dady and his modr sickl! and my dady loves his modr sickl!”
Those of you who know me, know that I’m expressing my midlife crisis primarily through being an irritable bastard and by driving around a 1968 Chinese motorcycle with a sidecar. It’s true – I love it. It’s interesting, fun, and an attention getter. The real reason I got it, though, was to drive my daughter around the neighborhood in it. For the first few weeks we had it – she would end every ride by looking over at me and saying “That. Was. AWESOME!!!” – which is just about as good as it gets. Even now – after several months of riding around, she will still occasionally make up a “motorcycle dance” – and every time I pick her up at school, we have the following conversation:
Zoe: Daddy! I’m so glad to see you! Did you bring the motorcycle?
Joe: I did, honey!
Zoe: YAYAYAY! ~motorcycle~motorcycle~motorcycle~
All of which is to say that her journal entry made perfect sense to me – but I was actually a little bothered by the fact that she said “my dady loves his modr sickl!” and not “my dady loves me.” I mentioned it to her, and she just rolled her eyes, said she knew I loved her, and asked if she could go on iCarly.com.
I hope that when she’s older, she remembers us spending time together riding around on the motorcycle, and not just a grouchy middle age dad with a biker obsession who dragged her along for the ride. Oh, by the way, I’m featured pretty heavily in the rest of the journal – typically on an airplane flying to another part of the country, or in a “YAY, My dady came home!” entry. I think I am going to have to find a therapist to deal with my guilt about the fact that she might need a therapist to deal with my absence. … and to ask if it’s unhealthy to constantly dream about modr sickls…