Ever since she discovered HGTV, Melina envisions becoming an interior designer. Thanks to shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and Love It or List It, she talks about open floor plans, wainscoting, and the difference between coffered and tray ceilings. She draws floor plans of houses she might like to help build someday, and her current project is a board game, tentatively called “House Hunters.” (Tentative because she realizes that the name is currently in use by the television show.)
So far, we’ve bought a mat to serve as the board, a fine-tip permanent marker so she can write words neatly, and small round counters (or chips) for use as money. Last night, I helped her cut up some blank index cards we had around the house to make the cards that direct players to the next step (and help them find the right house). They say things like, “This place doesn’t have a master ensuite. You can do better than this, people!”; “This house doesn’t have a basement. Not only do you want a basement, but you need a basement.”; “This house is really old, and you’re not really up for any ‘surprises.’ ” (She wrote these gems herself, and I’ve had a ton of fun going through them.)
As we sat to figure out how large the cards should be and whether or not I should cut them with the scissors or just fold and tear them, Melina took a long time with her decision. She flipped the cards over and examined each side, then she moved her fingers along the edges. She turned to me, a quirk to her lips, a furrow in her brow. She held up two cards.
Melina: I like that these edges are so precise, but somehow, this edge seems cleaner.
Me: You sound like you’re a designer.
Melina: I AM a designer.
Me: You are so far beyond me honey. Congratulations.
I high-fived the child and gave her a hug, and the pride I felt just about burst through my chest. Here I sit, a woman with a coffee table book and several published short stories and essays to my name, and I can barely call myself a writer, much less an author. And there she is, a ten year old kid, bubbling with confidence in what she knows and is interested in.
I’m taking my lesson from her today. I am a writer. I am an author. And if I truly feel that Melina will reach her dream of becoming an interior designer–and I do–then I need to have confidence that I’ll reach my dream of publishing my novels someday.
My new mantra: I AM.