The Writer and the Tough Parent

She’s 10 and this week announced to me that she wants to be a writer…

I shared this with someone we know well, who smiled and said, “You must be proud?”

Actually I don’t believe pride is the emotion here.

This was followed a couple days later by a request for for 4 handmade leather bound journals in which she wants me to purchase at a cost of $29.95 each in order for her to write a series of novels…

“You haven’t written one word, of one sentence, of one paragraph, of one page. However in your head you’ve written a series of 4 novels and this is supposed to cost me hundreds of dollars?”

“It’s not hundreds Dad, it’s like $130.00 after taxes. “

“I am not buying you 4 books to write a series of novels when you haven’t written 1 page for 1 novel. “

Her eyes begin to moisten

“Are you going to cry?”


“Are you crying because I am saying no?”

She hangs her head for just a moment and then holds my eyes in hers. There’s a hint of a smile.

“Look. You write me one sentence. One page. And I will get you 1 of those books. Do you even know if the paper is lined?”

“No I don’t know.”

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

“Do you own a computer?”


“Write a story on the computer. When you write a chapter I will get you one of those books.”

“They are limited editions Dad. They won’t be there for long. “

“Or they will be on sale, 4 for 10 dollars in a month.”

She shrugged and grabbed her computer.

I fell asleep to the sound of keys clicking right after she said,

“Thank you Dad.”

Dennis Mantin

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