Peace In A Tin Can

Peace In A Tin Can

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Tin Can for the Wise One

Last night, I had a long talk with my daughter while sitting by the bonfire.  We had been silent companions, enjoying the heat and the dancing flames, when she quietly said,

"My life is boring".  

She went on to say that she goes to school, she comes home, she does her homework, and she goes to bed.  She never does anything exciting or fun.  It's true.  So I asked her if she wants to invite a friend over after her soccer game today.  She replied,

"I don't really have any friends".

I know what she means.  She has a school friend who has taken her on family trips and loves being with my girl.  But that friend has lots of friends, so our Wise One doesn't spend all her time with her.  My daughter is liked well enough by the other girls, but she doesn't get invited to their homes.  I threw out the names of some girls from her class, but she kept coming back with reasons why they aren't her friends.  Finally she said to me, "Mom, I'm okay with not having friends.  Those girls are all into drama and boys, and I don't care about any of it.  I don't need friends.  What I need is a job."

She's twelve years old, and she wants a job.  So I gave her one.

She said she wants to start her own blog, but doesn't want to talk about kid stuff.  I have heard The Wise One talk passionately about politics and religion and the economy, and while her arguments are well-thought positions with intelligence and humor as her emphasis, she does not have the years of experience for her arguments to be tempered with an open mind.   I think the idea of my twelve year old writing a blog about adult issues is a bad, bad idea.

I asked her if she would like to take over writing one of my other blogs, Rooney Speaks.  I started it a while back, but since I have a hard enough time finding opportunities to write on this blog, I have written very little on Rooney Speaks.

Rooney is my dog.  He is a very large, messy, lovable dog who tends to get himself into trouble.  My daughter adores him and is annoyed by him at the same time.  But she was intrigued by the idea of writing about our lives through our dog's eyes, and I saw a little spark come alive inside her.

Maybe writing is her tin can.  We all need a tin can.  Mine is the vintage Airstream I lovingly live in part-time, traveling to my wilderness and learning about adventure as I go along.  My tin can is where I find my excitement, my joy, and my peace.  My Wise One needs to find her own tin can, but I suspect hers will be much the same as mine.

We made a pact.  I will bring Rooney into the picture more often by letting him come to her soccer games and school events, and taking him with us everywhere we go.  She will write about his antics on my blog.  She is quite excited about this plan.

It was getting late last night by the time we finished our talk, but The Wise One wanted to have a go at the blog.  I showed her how to access it on the computer, then left her alone.  She only wrote one small paragraph, because she said she hasn't given enough thought to it yet, but I was pleasantly surprised by what she wrote.  Without any guidance from me, she wrote using Rooney's voice, not hers or mine.  It is a short piece, but amusing.  The Wise One plans to write more.

This morning, she woke up early - as she always does - and ran out to my computer to see how many people have read her blog since last night.  She was thrilled to have 39 hits.  She already understands the satisfaction a writer gets from knowing someone is interested enough to hear what she (or Rooney!) has to say.

It makes me so very proud to see my daughter wanting to follow in my footsteps.  The best part is, unlike me, she is not waiting until she is having a mid-life crisis at 48 to know what she can contribute to the world.  If she sticks with it, The Wise One could someday use the written word to inspire, and change the way people see themselves and their world.  Or she might work at Target.  She hasn't decided yet.

I hope you will check out her blog, Rooney Speaks, so that when she gets home from her soccer game this afternoon and anxiously checks the dashboard, she will have even more hits.  You might even want to sign up to follow her blog.  That way, someday when she is writing powerful thoughts, you can say, "I have followed her from the beginning!'  Who knows?  Her Tin Can might be my Tin Can.  I dare say, hers will be better than mine, and nothing would make me happier.