Ellie, at almost-eight, informs me of her need for a notebook, for school. We rifle through Pawpaw’s stash with intense consideration. This one, the paper is too slick. That one, the paper doesn’t feel right. She tests the lead from my Zebra M301 mechanical pencil on each page with careful penmanship and declares the steno pad the perfect match between graphite and paper.
She takes her new tools with her as we run errands around the property in the Gator™️. We drive through the yard. The grass is green. Dappled light filters through the trees. The sun is yellow. The sky is blue. She turns to me with an astonished look as she points at the fluffy cumulus and writes, the clouds are white.
We finish and head home. The house is brown.
Inside, in our pajamas, she continues to write with an occasional spelling request. After some time, she asks me to read her three new sentences out loud. Because they are short, I can get through all the words but the last one, before my voice cracks.
The heart is red. The family is love. Inside my heart.