Regular readers of this page will recall that one of the only things my daughter wanted for Christmas this past year was ribbon for her ancient typewriter. Well, Santa came through with flying colours and my not-so-wee-one-anymore is now happily clicking away yet again, so all is right in her precious world.
It’s heart warming to see her spending hours in front of such an archaic, back-in-my-day oh-so manual device when, at her fingertips – like most children of her generation – are wireless creations that seem to offer so much more in the way of entertainment – and worry.
But I guess, for my kid, that online bloom has, at least for now, fallen off the proverbial rose, and that’s quite alright by me and my mommy nerves.
So, what has my daughter been writing? At times it’s her thoughts, somewhat like a diary or journal entry. Little tidbits about one of our dogs, or her day or (gawd forbid) me.
At other times she must be sharing her innermost secret thoughts as those once snow white, innocent, bland pages are turned into something more sinister or at least colourful, and swiftly snatched out of that ol’ roller with a voracious rippppp before being stashed far away from the always inquiring mind of a curious (nosy) mother.
At other times, my daughter has even taken to typing out entire books she loves, page-by-page, one chapter at a time. Oh, to have her dedication!
I love hearing her on her typewriter, partly because I now know when she’s “in a mood” by the sound of the keys. Click. Clack. Click. Click. When I hear such pitter-patter of electrical-typewriter rain, all is good with the world. Clicketyclackclickclicketyclickclackclick!DING! means I best stay away. At least for a little bit because there’s a storm brewin’.
While I wasn’t sure there were any life skills being learned by the use of a typewriter over a tablet, some interesting things are becoming clear as time passes.
Love of Reading
While this is probably a combination of her love of reading and her use of a typewriter, Elia’s use of grammar is on par with (or some would argue; above) my own. She gets it’s vs its and ‘s vs s’ or simply s. She can spell pretty much anything without phoning a friend (something I often do when I can’t even get close enough with spell check) and she has mastered the oh-so-tangly there/their/they’re mystery. She’s 10 and has been in French Immersion since kindergarten, so I’m impressed.
But then, like most parents out there, our own rose always smells the sweetest, so I’m always willing to acknowledge that I may be a tad bit bias.
Still, it’s with a sense of pride that I share the fact that my kid is a little different and in her uniqueness I find somewhat of a parenting peace – even as I sit writing this to a soundtrack filled with clicks, clacks, DINGS! and rippppppps.
Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org