My seven-year-old daughter Zoe is one crazy cookie. Not a boring sugar-and-spice one but a monster-sized, chocolate-dripping-down-yer-chin, glazed-and-frosted, double-dunked, cavity-causing cookie. She’s up from the word “Up!” and doesn’t wind down until her body forces her to pass out somewhere; Zoe sleeps the kind of hard, immediate sleep that results from living a life filled with adventure and wonder. And once she discovers something new, she seizes it and makes it her own thing to explore and tear apart and manipulate. I’m the man in the yellow hat, for she is forever my Curious George . . .
She’s discovered how to use the phone. What joy it brings her little heart to pick up a piece of plastic with incandescent green buttons and reach all the way across the universe, just to talk with someone she loves. She’s always been a very personable child when others call. Says hello, asks who’s calling, and then passes it on. But now she can dial. And she knows my cell phone number by heart. Couple that with a phone on the desk in my quiet, remote bedroom and you get . . .
I get these while I’m at work, where I can seldom answer the phone. I’ve tried to tell her, “Daddy can talk to you only when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 7!” But who’s got time for clock-watching when you’re seven and have a happening life to live. So she leaves me messages. And they always make me smile. Hearing her precious voice as she runs through the minutia of her day grants me a welcome pause in my hectic routine. She is a sweet and significant part of the future I’m plodding toward. And we are connected at the ear . . .