Grasping gloved hands, we quick-stepped across the street toward the trailhead. My breath hung cloudy in the air, while cold wind whispered in my ear, reminding me it was still winter. “So, what did you write about yesterday?” asked my eight year-old daughter, looking up at me from beneath her pink polar fleece hat. The two of us had just snuck out of the house, bundled up in hats, gloves, and snow boots, to steal an early morning weekend hike while my wife and other two daughters slept in. I had just reminded her that the 2020 Slice of Life Story Challenge had begun.
“Well,” I began, “I wrote about you. And that Cyndi Lauper song we heard yesterday. . . you know, the one called ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?’ Remember we listened to that song yesterday?”
Suddenly dropping my hand, my daughter burst out into the frigid winter air, “Aww, come on, dad! That’s what you wrote about?!”
Surprised by her reaction, I suddenly felt pangs of guilt. Gosh, maybe she feels offended that I wrote about her without her permission, I thought to myself. We had now reached the trailhead and had begun to traverse up the snowy path toward the barren forest. Winter stared at me from every angle. “Well,” I stammered, “I mean, I didn’t just write about you and that song. I, uh, also wrote about how it reminded me of high school, and other thoughts…”
My daughter interrupted my awkward explanation. “I mean, girls want a job and a life, too, Dad!” she quipped.
Wait, what did she just say? I tried to connect the dots of this surprising conversation. Then suddenly it occurred to me that her indignation originated not from a parental breach of privacy assumption; no, she was taking issue with the song lyric. “You mean, girls don’t want to just have fun?” I asked trying to clarify.
“Yeah!” my daughter giggled. “I mean, that’s dumb. Girls. . . we want a job and a life, too! That song is dumb. I don’t like it.”
“Right, honey. I hear you. Girls want more than to just have fun.” With snow crunching beneath our boots, we grabbed hands again and headed into the forest.