Vivian sat at the table, practicing line after line of cursive writing because apparently she will learn handwriting in Grade 3, otherwise known as “next year.”
Out of nowhere, she said, “Some parents just want their kids to be like them.”
I paused whatever I was doing in the kitchen, which probably involved burning myself. “That’s interesting,” I said. “Where did you hear that?”
“I didn’t really hear it anywhere.”
“Is it just something you thought?” I asked.
A shadow of guilt flashed over me. “Do you feel that’s how I am as a parent?”
“No,” Vivian said.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Cross that off the four-page cheat sheet I’m preparing for her future therapist.
“But I want to be a teacher anyway,” she continued, “even though you are one.”
I thought of the ten hours of grading I have ahead of me this week. “Teaching’s a good job,” I said.
I wasn’t lying.
“But I don’t want to have kids,” Vivian said. “Children are a lot of work.”
She wasn’t lying.
Viv kept talking. “But teaching is a lot like having kids, only you have 22 of them.”
I nodded and smiled at this wise young soul, the same girl who – at age 4 – called the stretch marks on my stomach “silver rainbows.”