So weâ€™re driving to the airport, Tess and I, to start our most excellent weekend adventure to South Dakota. Tomorrow, itâ€™s horse shows, Sunday, Rushmore and Custer, Monday back home after a presentation.
Weâ€™re cruising down the interstate and all of a sudden she pokes me from the back seat.
â€œI canâ€™t help it,â€ she says. â€œI have to poke someone every thirty minutes.â€ She laughs, and I put a fake frown on my face.
But then, I start thinking.
â€œHey Tess,â€ I say. â€œRemember how we talked about maybe you and Tucker writing books and then being able to send them out for Christmas presents?â€
â€œWell, you know, that could be a pretty fun story to make into a book.â€
Her faces scrunches up in the rear view mirror. â€œWhat? About a girl who has to poke people?â€
â€œYeah,â€ I say, with more than a tinge of enthusiasm. â€œLike, maybe itâ€™s a disease or something, like the flu.â€
She looks out the window. â€œLike the 24 hour-flu,â€ she says and smiles. â€œLike Pokinitis.â€
I laugh. â€œPokinitis,â€ I say. â€œPerfect. Maybe she wakes up with Pokinitisâ€¦â€
â€œYeah, and canâ€™t help but poke her mom and her dad and her little brotherâ€¦â€
â€œAnd maybe her teacher,â€ I say. I can see this. Itâ€™s got potential. I look in the rear view to see if she feels it too.
â€œHey Dad,â€ she says after a moment. â€œCould we really make this into a book? Like a real book?â€
â€œAbsolutely,â€ I say, thinking about George Mayo and Lulu and how cool this could be.
â€œI already wrote a book, you know,â€ she says.
â€œI know. You know how many people have read it by now?â€
â€œHow many?â€ she asks.
â€œOver 1,700,â€ I say, and I see her face brighten.
â€œReally. But we could turn Pokinitis into a book that people can put on their bookshelves.â€ She looks out the window and the cars passing by.
â€œMaybe she goes to the school nurse and pokes her too,â€ she giggles. I laugh.
â€œSo what do you think? You want to try to write it? On the plane maybe?â€ Iâ€™m hoping.
â€œMaybeâ€¦weâ€™ll see.â€ I deflate a bit.
â€œYou know what else?â€ I say. â€œYou could write it, draw the pictures for it, and then when itâ€™s all done, we could make a movie of it with you reading it so other kids could even listen to it.â€ Oy, I think. Overload. The curse of being so invested in all of this. But sheâ€™s thinking about it.
â€œWeâ€™ll see,â€ she says. â€œWeâ€™ll see.â€