Wednesday, February 02, 2005


My daughter has been here in Austin for the past two weeks. She lives back home in Des Moines and is visiting as she has graduated high school a semester early. She's a beautiful young lady, smart, confident and preparing to go into nursing school. She's suffering, however, from what I will call senior-itis. A condition that young people get during that period between becoming a senior and getting smacked in the face by real life as a college freshman. During this time, the whole world revolves around them. Their needs, their wants, their looks, their music, their thoughts and opinions. No one else matters and they're not very nice.

She was nice to me yesterday. She didn't mean to be, so I won't tell her. She might take it back.

We were at the bookstore. I'm buying a copy of Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life, illustrated by kadir Nelson.

"Dad, why you buying that kids book?", she asks me. Like I don't always by kids books.

"I like the illustrations," I tell her.

"What's so special about the illustrations," she asks.

"Their done by artist Kadir Nelson. I love his work, his use of color, his figurative style. He's a national award winner. I always buy books by artist who inspire me. He's one of the best. I'd like to be like that someday," I tell her.

She flips through the book. Frowns. "His work is ok, but no better than yours," she says. She looks at the price. Cuts her eyes at me. Walks away.

Not realizing how much her words meant to me.

Read author Greg Leitich Smith's musings on teens and their brains today in his blog.

1 comment:

The Archivist said...

It's the things that are said, without the intent of being nice, that are the nicest.

Does that make sense?