Sometime between 2016 and 2020, my daughter gave me several strips of paper with messages on them. I rediscovered them when I was in the (lengthy) process of straightening my office.
They reminded me of a similar present I received from my friends for – I believe – my 16th birthday. I think they’re still in this house somewhere.
My daughter wrote:
We watch the news. I think the watching, but also conversing about both the stories and the coverage choices, helped inform her social conscience.
You help me leave for school. First, I made sure she was awake. I used to take her on the bus to preschool before I went to work. Later, I made sure she had food, money, and homework, especially in the lower grades.
When she first went to middle school, I helped her navigate how to take alternate buses so she could avoid the rowdies on the designated buses. But by eighth grade, she decided that the loud bus was more tolerable than spending the extra time to take two buses.
You help me with my homework. In particular, history and math. As I recall, math was complicated even in fourth grade because of the wording of some of the questions. While I remembered a lot of AP American history, there were details that I had never heard. I tried to help her with AP Statistics, but I couldn’t recall it well enough, so I got her a tutor.
You and I Love Lucy. In 2016, my wife, my daughter, and I went to the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, NY. She took a bunch of photos, a few of which showed up in my blog post. She got a Lucy cup. Subsequently, we bought the box set of I Love Lucy episodes, which she watched for several months.
You tolerate your life. I’m not positive what this meant. It’s true that I was unhappy and dissatisfied at work in the latter years but needed to get to retirement age so that I could quit. I didn’t often directly tell her, I don’t think, but indeed she overheard conversations I had with her mother.
I was delighted to come across these messages.