Lily: Seven and a Half

Hi Lil,

It’s late. You’re asleep and I’m down in the basement writing this before the news comes on. We’re not usually a TV house, but today I was part of a panel discussion on CBC and you came with me and toured the studio and impressed the adults the way you always do. Your only break from perfect studio decorum was to wave madly at me once when I looked over at you during filming. So we’ll watch and see if we can spot that moment. You’ve asked us to show you the video tomorrow.

The discussion was about a guy who wrote a memo that I hope will be old, forgotten news by the time you read these letters. A guy who got fired for asking whether maybe we should debate, yet again, whether women might just not be suited to engineering jobs. You’re seven and a half and you already roll your eyes at it. We got there early and were sitting in a coffee shop talking about it, and I asked why you thought he got fired. You thought about it for a second and said, “Well, you’ll probably have a more complicated answer than me, but I think he got fired because he made the women in his company feel tired and beaten up and that’s not something you should do.” You’re seven and a half and you are amazing.

Your summer is a succession of day camps. Swim camp, sports camp, drama camp. They all blend together, and mostly accomplish the goal of burning up some of your energy. It’s a mix of kids from all over, and you come back with new mannerisms and desires and personalities that you’re trying on. We don’t know what kind of adult you’ll be yet, but we see glimpses of what kind of teen you might be. The beginnings of a pre-tween. Your music taste and currency has already started to outpace ours.

Last night as you were going to sleep we were talking about introverts and extroverts. I told you that I’m introvert but people don’t always guess that. You said, “Is that because you can be friendly and happy in big groups, but it’s not your favourite thing?” I said yes. You said, “That’s how I am, too. I can have fun with lots of friends, but afterwards I feel tired out. And thanksgiving, with all those people, that’s the worst!” I told you I sometimes hide in the bathroom. Sorry kiddo, you’re 3 for 3 on introvert parents by my math. But you’re learning how to cope, and anyhow some of my favourite people also hide in the bathroom.

For context, when you’re reading this letter and trying to place it: since my last letter to you we’ve quit our jobs and started the new company. You have business cards that say “Junior Partner” because your parents are nerds. Our book comes out in a few months and is just going through final layout edits and advance copies. B is a toddler, and still mad for you above all else. Your favourite food is crêpes, and you put maple syrup on your ice cream like your dad.

You’ve decided you’re embarrassed when I say I love you at camp drop off so I whisper it now.

(I love you)

Daddy

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