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As a weekday evening was winding down my daughter insisted on completing the final tasks of her day (collecting homework papers, readying herself for bed) while listening to music on her headphones.

She came into my office to get a piece of her homework.

“Here, dear,” I said loudly and slowly as I proffered said paper, ” take your assignment.”

“What?” She moved one earphone away from her ear.  [What happened to the days when a child would simply shut off the music?  Is this a sign of disrespect about which I should fret?  Hmmm…]

“Take your paper and put it in your binder,” I overemphasized slowly, by now having some fun with her bee-bopping around to the tunes in her ears.

“Okay,” she said taking the paper and heading off… to organize her binder I hoped.

Shortly thereafter, my first-born returned to my desk. “Stop trying to kill me,” I said with a smile, as I still believe her efforts are not literal, at least not yet.

She replied, “No can do”. I swear, this is an exact quote

And off my little pistol danced, to brush her teeth and wash her face.

Once again, now clad in PJs but still dancing and singing, the would-be murderess returned.

“Honey, you have a voice like mine,” I said. [My gift to my friends is not singing them, “Happy Birthday.” They tell me it’s one of my best offerings.]

The glimmering ray that is my tween laughed.

” I know, and you have to listen to it.”

And once again, she danced off to the beat of her own drum – this time with me following so that I could tuck her into bed.


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