Don’t Say That

I said something to Ava last week that I immediately regretted.

It was at night during our camping trip and she was roasting a marshmallow, letting it catch on fire, and blowing it out.

From her body language and facial expressions and how she let it burn a little too long, I could tell she was looking for attention from the adults who were sitting around the campfire talking.

“Just eat your marshmallow,” I said. “Don’t put on a show.”

She walked over, looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t. Say. That.”

She’s right. I shouldn’t say that.

I love it when she puts on a show. She writes plays and performs them with her friends. She learns the lyrics to her favorite songs and sings along. And she makes videos, sometimes getting me to participate.

Imagine if the parents of Sarah Silverman or Taylor Swift told them not to put on a show and they listened. What a loss that would be.

I don’t know what Ava’s career or passions will be as an adult, but I do know that I don’t want to extinguish the flame of her creativity.

But also, I don’t know if she’d let me. She was dead serious when she told me not to say that.

You be you, Ava.

I’m still working on that silence thing.

- Matt

Artwork created by Midjourney with the prompt: close up of a single marshmallow on a stick, roasting over a campfire, getting burnt black. photo-realistic.

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