I’m oftened haunted by a thought that with all the great writers and thinkers in the world that there is no original thought left, that I’ll never string together a truly innovative series of words or write something that hasn’t already been said in far better ways. Still, I struggle to string together pretty words in my notebook, always disappointed in the results. My two-year old looks at me quizzically and and I tell her I’m writing a story. She looks at my scrawling, carefully studying me, and then says “You’re drawing your ideas?” And yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing. “Drawing my ideas.” It’s a briliant piece of phrasing really, better than anything I could have come up with.
She does that a lot.
Her little mind is still soft, and logic isn’t a barrier to her like it is to me. She doesn’t use the crutch of overused phrases because she doesn’t know them. She’s forced to build her own. I envy her that. The last bastian of truly original thought belongs to toddlers and psychotics, a kind of erratic reasoning and creative well-spring that most of us are “cured” of over time.
At night she calls out sometimes, crying about how a witch flies into her room. I tell her that I’ve put up an anti-broomstick net around the house to keep out any witches and she shakes her head. “No mommy, the witches are flies. They sneak in under the doors. You have to hum them to sleep so they’ll feel better and sleep.” I hum to invisible witch-flies in the night. I’m told they all fell asleep on the spiderweb outside her window. I wouldn’t know. I can’t see them like she does.
There’s a secret magic moving about our house, visible only to her. I listen to my two-year old as she pulls an egg from the refrigerator and delicately holds it up to her ear.
“Hush, mommy. You’ll wake up the spiders.”
“Spiders? Those are just chicken eggs, baby.”
“No mommy,” she whispers as she holds it out to me. “These are spiders eggs. All spinnely and slippety. You hear them, mommy?”
No, baby. I can’t hear them.
God, I wish I still could.