Perched on the side of the guestroom bed, my preschooler looked over my shoulder at my workstation. The printer was spewing out page after page of dense text and graphs, evidence that I had somehow found time to do research in the midst of potty training, colds, viruses, and playdates. (Oh, and a kitchen renovation.) We both smiled at this evidence that Mommy could still do good work, and be a good Mommy too.
He helped me, pulling the fresh printed sheets out of the printer and adding them solemnly to my stack, finding small clips to secure the precious pages, and putting them into the envelope with me. I swallowed admonitions and stifled my urge to perfection as I gratefully accepted his offering, his final contribution to this work.
When he wanted to flip through the pages, “reading,” I gave him my file copy, told him that it was a copy that I was saving for him someday, and that he could read that one all he liked.
Widget sat quietly on the bed, thumb in his mouth, gazing carefully at each page before he turned to the next. On page 30, he stopped, looked up at me curiously, and said, “Mommy, this is going to be good science.”
My heart melted.
Peer review, shmear review. My kid is proud of me.