My response to recent reports that a mother shared her five-year-old daughter’s journal online (fearing that she was sharing sad thoughts with paper, rather than her mother) is this:
My diary was always mine, unless spying eyes stole
my secret-est thoughts from the heart,
or spied my flaws, my dreams, my holes.
I always write to heal, never to share or flaunt
my shadow stuff that’s too far too delicate
to bring to public taunt.
I’ve written daily words from at least the age of nine
from the clothes of Charlie’s Angels
to the depths of Freud and Klein.
So spying on a little girl’s words leaves me frozen with self-doubt.
I can only think of one grown person
whose probing left my craft in drought.
So as I tense for the critic, hoping for the praise
that moment of potential brilliance
gets lost in a fearful malaise.
So, mothers, for creativity’s sake, don’t censor your girl’s every move.
Leave her to find her voice,
through pen and page her groove.