Recently Friend-Husband’s brother Rich, and wife Andrea told us that their 8 year old daughter Hannah loves to write stories.
I was excited. “Really?” I said, “You need to nurture that.”
“Well,” they continued, “There’s a problem.”
“A problem?” I asked.
“Yes, a big problem. She would rather write stories than do her chores. She would rather write stories than clean her room or help out around the house.”
I was shocked. I was aghast. “Oh no,” I wailed. “Tsk. Tsk,” I mourned. “She has it bad, doesn’t she? Poor Poor Hannah.”
“Yes,” they said with heads bowed low.
“Maybe she could marry someone like Friend-Husband, who actually enjoys cleaning house (go figure),” I said hopefully, “but what are the chances?”
We all shook our heads in silence.
“There is one other thing,” I mentioned cautiously.
They looked at me expectantly.
“Shock Therapy” I said.
They looked concerned.
“It’s her only hope,” I whispered. “It’s drastic, though.”
“Tell us more,” they said with hope in their eyes.
“It starts with dinner dishes,” I began.
“Dinner Dishes?” they asked. Now they were excited.
“Exactly. Do not let her anywhere near the dinner dishes.” “Mopping floors is bad,” I continued. “She must not be allowed to sweep or mop floors.” The list continued, “No yardwork. Banish her from bathroom duty. You get the idea."
“What?” Our tearful relatives looked surprised. “Are you sure this will help?”
“Wait, there’s more,” I said. “You must surround her with good books and encourage her to read a lot. Her future is at stake.”
“Read a lot?” they queried.
“Oh, yes, of course, and notebooks. She must have many, many notebooks and pens and pencils of all colors and sizes.”
“Notebooks, pens, pencils?” they wondered.
I nodded solemnly. “A dictionary and thesaurus are a must,” I added. “Believe me, she will soon be begging for mercy. She will be dying to clean toilets.”
“She will?” they asked, with tears in their eyes.
“Absolutely,” I answered, “either that, or…she’ll become a writer.”
I love you, Hannah, and if you haven’t guessed, I’d rather write than clean house, too.