Thursday, June 23, 2005


The yellow-haired child was in the bedroom this morning and was somewhat inquisitive about the iron. I told her not to play with it, that it was hot, and then ignored her because I was unaware that it actually was hot - my wife had turned the iron on 10 minutes before. She burned herself, though not badly.

She cried her way to the kitchen to have her mommy help her and I gathered up my son from the bathroom floor. When I got to the kitchen, she was no longer crying, but standing and listening to stories from her older sisters about when they had burned and hurt themselves. Healing salve. Magic.

Story is one of my favorite things in this world. The Roman poet Horace said it best when he described poetry as "sweet and useful . . . charming the reader and warning him equally well." What did the yellow-haired child learn from her sisters? Perhaps she felt like she was joining their ranks - initiated into Big Girl-dom through her ordeal with the hot iron. Perhaps she just enjoyed learning more about her sisters. Perhaps she learned that she was like them.

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