Her room is a wreck. She’s hopeless at organization. Her five-year-old brother is neat and tidy, but her floor is strewed with laundry — dirty and clean — toys, books, and the occasional pencil.
Her walls are yellow with a woodland scene stenciled overtop, my creation. A post-it love note I wrote her a few weeks back hangs on the ceiling above her lofted bed. Her favorite stuffed friend, Duck, lies among her twisted blankets.
Late afternoon sun pours in through the windows, brightening the already cheerful room. On her desk lies her recent draft of a poem about baby chicks.
The room reeks of wild girl. It’s an animal scent with a hint of sweetness.
She’s seven and a half now, no longer just a little girl, certainly not a big kid. She’s busy inventing herself day by day, and she is just so careful about it. You’d be impressed. She chooses the most interesting friends with whom to align herself — her best friend with orange hair, and her one with yellow hair who makes her 3-D art each day, her friend Vincent who teaches her the ways of zombies, the quiet girl who is a vegetarian.
My daughter, she teaches me how to be curious, how to be cautious, how to be patient, and how to be joyful. I am so grateful for her.
P.S. Don’t worry, I picked up her room before bed.