How to Water a Captis

Dear Kids,

A few months ago, you each got cactus plants. One of you wrote down instructions for watering it.

How to Water a Captis: Get a teespoon fild wif waoter and waoter him once evree mounth.

I know it’s silly, but I love that you thought it was a “captis” instead of a “cactus.” When you were younger, you both made similarly adorable mistakes all the time. Now that you’re older, your endearing little mistakes are disappearing by the day as you perfect their understanding of the language. You are growing up and growing beyond your need for us.

But I still occasionally find notes like this one, and then I have to decide whether to throw it away or keep it. I cannot possibly keep everything that I think is cute. Neither is it enough to simply toss the note into a box. Unless I do something now to feature the item and put it in its proper context, then it will become just another piece of paper in a box of dusty, old papers, and I might not even remember why I thought it was so cute.

So that’s why I’m featuring the note in this letter to you. I think it’s wonderful that you wrote the instructions down. Often you’re absent-minded and cannot remember something as simple as washing your faces in the morning, and you don’t really want to, either. But at other times, you are so very serious and want to be responsible, and this note shows that. Plus, I love the written word, and I’m happy to see you become writers, too, even if your magnum opus is just a description of how to take care of a captis.



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