Violet is blowing bubbles in the backyard. Sweet potatoes are sitting on the countertop, ready to be baked and stuffed with black beans and scrambled eggs for dinner. Are you gonna put that spinach in the dinner? Violet calls through the kitchen window. It’s a cool day, the promise of warmer weather is on the horizon, and we all are anxiously awaiting it.
The Paris and Switzerland guidebooks are strewn about the dining room table. We are just a few weeks out from our two-week grand adventure. Packing lists are started. To-do lists to finish up the school year and to finish out the semester are on post-its all over the house. A scribbled quote from John Muir graces the back of an old church bullention read “As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.” I read it again and take a deep yoga breath.
Lily has been practicing for her upcoming piano recital. “The Can-Can” is playing on repeat in my head. The playroom looks like a tornado hit, but in reality the girls spent the entire afternoon setting up an elaborate Hotel Glorys yesterday with a bookstore, a dress shop, spa and restuarant. Signs made with sharpies and decorated with stickers are are hanging with washbi tape off the walls and stuffed animals litter the floor.
Last night at dinner, Daisy tells us she is writing an autobiography in school. She wrote about her early years, present day and now she’s working on the future. She tells us she wrote that she is planning on going to Stanford University and she wants to be a veterinarian as her career. What happened to being a singer, we ask?
Later as we are snuggled up with our books, she an old copy of Nancy Drew and The Secret of the Old Clock and me the second book in the The Tail of Emily Windsnap series, she tells me that she wants to have a job that will make the world a better place. She wonders outloud, Do writers make the world a better place?
As I survey her room, her journal filled with poems and musings sitting atop her nightstand, a carboard storyboard outlining her story and illustrations of a marshmallows terrible fate becoming a s’more, and the stack of early reader books she created for Lily, I tell her about John Lennon and his song “Imagine” – he came, he sang and people listened. His music inspired and challenged people to believe there could, one day, be a world without hate. I remind her that poets and artists and novelists of every generation have shaped the way we view language and culture and ideas. We talk about Shakespeare: he managed to reinvent a form, and in doing so, he completely changed culture itself. I tell Daisy she would make an excellent author, illustrator, musician or vet.
I tell her, whatever she chooses to do, she will do out of love, and ultimately, that will make the world a better place.