Thoughts of the Week

Created: 2000-04-13
Last Modified: 2000-04-13
Go to
Brad De Long's Home Page

Teaching | Writing | Career | Politics | Book Reviews | Information Economy | Economists | Multimedia | Students | Fine Print | Other | My Jobs

Birthday Gifts

Ann Marie Marciarille

April 2000

My daughter is seven years old today, April 13. She is a magical child: ebullient, curious, whimsical--a real gift. I am charmed by the passion she brings to her life. The highs can be very high at our house.

It is in this first grade year that I have observed the beginnings of a real division between the boys and girls in her life. My proud first grader, ever the astute observer, shares her insights at the family dinner table. Why are the boys in her first-grade class so noisy? Who thinks girls have cooties? Why is it always boys chase the girls or girls chase the boys? Why are the girls so involved with forming complicated alliances and clubs?

And what does this marvel of nature want for her seventh birthday? SWhe has asked for a fishing rod and a slip.

She envies me my slips. She covets all things lacy and frilly. This choice expresses, I think, her desire to grow up, to be like me--and her love of the ornamental.

I will give her a slip to add to her collection. I have always thought that the value of playfulness--expressiveness--in attire is sadly undervalued in our society.

A fishing rod? She longs for adult accouterments and activities here as well. Grownups fish; they are competent acquirers of their own food. She, unlike myself at her age, fearlessly baits her own hook and avidly awaits the nibble from the fish large enough to be a "keeper."

I watch her unbridled enthusiasm for clothes and sports with wonder. I am not unaware of the pressures ahead for one so intelligent and spirited. But, for now, she is apparently unperturbed by so many of the gender rules that mattered so much to me even at seven. She believes she can do and be anything.

And she thinks that I, inept career and family juggler that I am, can do anything too. That is her gift to me on this seventh anniversary of her birth.

Makes me want to put on a slip and get myself down to the fishing hole.

Sign up for Brad Delong's (general) mailing list

Go to related links...

Add a comment on this page...

Read other people's comments on this webpage

Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong, 601 Evans Hall, #3880
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax

This document:

Search This Website