My delightful and precocious daughter, Roxanna, recently turned six. I adore Roxanna. She doesn’t have much of an internal censor. There are no red lights or even a yield sign between her thoughts and her voice. I used to think it was strictly her age, and that is why she did things like tell complete strangers that they “smelled like rice pudding.” (We’re still not sure if that’s an insult or a compliment. Neither was the person she said it to.)
The other day I was sitting on the couch reading, and Roxanna climbed up next to me. It was uncommonly quiet as the other kids were playing in the backyard. Roxanna picked up my right hand and started playing with my fingers. She seemed content to just be sitting by her dad. I watched her and loved this quiet moment. It was almost emotional.
“Roxanna,” I said, trying not to interrupt the moment. “Will we always be friends?”
“Yes,” she answered, without looking up from my hand.
“What about when you’re 16?” I asked, thinking about the teenage-daughter/father dynamic.
“DAD!” she responded, laughing as if I’d made a “pull-my-finger” joke, and then quietly going back to concentrate on my hand, calmly said, “When I’m 16 you won’t be alive anymore.”
“I won’t?! That’s only in ten years, sweetheart.”
“Well… You’ll be a grandpa for sure by then.”
Evidently in addition to missing a censor, her internal clock is busted. Although I suppose 16 is an entire lifetime away for a 6 year old. It’s two and half times the short amount of living they’ve done. To her it seems like she will never be 16. For me, it breaks my heart how quickly she will be.
But by then, I should have my new product out: Eau Rice Pudding Cologne for Men.