the HRT and broken expressions of affection...
Taylor wrote me a note the other day in the broken, untrained English of a kindergardener: "I luv you dad. I luv owr hows. I luv owr famle. yor datr, Taylor."
The translation in case you need it: "I love you dad. I love our house. I love our family. Your daughter, Taylor."
I can't tell you the nourishment her writing has become to me. Sometimes I'll get out a piece of paper and tell her to write a note, a story, a letter, a song...anything...just to hear her convey her heart brings me great joy. I love how she takes words and sounds them out phonetically into her own little broken language. It is the lack of training that brings such a freshness. It is the purity of her heart that makes such rudimentary sentiments so life-stoppingly brilliant.
We had steak last night. One night I was playing with Taylor and we decided to make up our own game called, "Questions". Our games are quite simple in case you haven't gathered that along the way. This game of Questions is nothing more than me asking her a question and her writing down the answer. I will say, "Question number one." and she will write the number "1" and proceed to jot down her one word answer. The first question I asked her: "What is your favorite food?" Her answer: "Sdak". So now whenever we are having steak we are careful to dictate it as Taylor wrote it out. Our whole family does this. It's not longer steak; it's "sDaK".
Here's how she spells Holloween: HLYN (our family now calls it ha-leen).
-or how 'bout Rainbow: RABO
-check out Sisters: SISBERS
-I love this one, Pumpkin: PUKIN
I have to believe that this is how God interacts with our beautifully broken speech. He loves to hear us talk in our cracked-up, shattered logic and ana-logic. He feels the affection of our misspelled language of love and life. He loves hearing our child-like responses to his Quest, his Questions. He feels our hearts behind our unedited expressions...and his heart is moved.
We beat ourselves up trying to "get it right" as he smiles with delight, moved by our attempts. Our attempts, in themselves, are enjoyed. Do you get that? It's like he's says: "I see where you were trying to go with that." We see them as failed attempts, he sees them as valiant attempts, affectionate attempts. In this case: "It is the thought that counts, and counts most." Our thoughts will never be His thoughts, our ways His ways, our words His words...at best it will be slurred speech, stuttering lips forming a clumsy "I LUV U". And in his Father-love, he translates them with great joy into "Grammatical Correctness".
Or maybe he doesn't. Maybe he doesn't care about grammar as much as we might think. Maybe he just looks at the heart to begin with. Maybe he just leaves our "love note" just as it is, reveling in the attempt, glorying in seeing his child fighting for expression, laughing at the signature of that unique soul and feeling the warmth pulsating in his heart through his veins, crying at the customized affections of his cherished child. At least this is what I feel as a father with Tay.
I don't want her to learn to write like me. I wish she could stay in this uninformed altruism. I hate thinking more about my grammar than my guts. I wish I could just pour out my guts without thinking about how it's dressed and how that dressing compares to the refined outfits of others. If I could just pour out my heart unedited, unrefined, un"adult"erated. It is that adult thing that seems to kill genuine feelings, thoughts, and actions. I hate my adulterated affections. Sullied by years of editing. I'm so conscious of MLA formatting that I lose the man in the "man"ufacturing.
"Man"ufactured, "Man"icured, "Man"ipulated, "Man"euvered, "Man"aged...and in the end I feel like my heart is "Man"gled.
And then you're reminded of what it's all about when you watch your daughter "put it out there".
It's all about--as Taylor writes it--the HRT.
Gd, hlp mi hrt to b truw.