It’s not the first time for Machiko to be featured on this blog. I think she’s been here for the most part, and that girl has been my source of joy in my darkest of times. Honestly, the day her momma Marga and I found out she was coming was the day we knew we were adults.
Max, as we call her, is one of those kids that are just smart. It was a conscious effort to raise her without too much dependence on technology, so it won’t be a surprise if her first memory is reading a book. Her life is filled with building blocks, Dr. Seuss, postcards and stamps, arts and crafts, and thankfully, she hasn’t gotten tired of it yet.
My most vivid memory of Max was when Marga left the laptop in their room. The tablet was also there, and my phone just sitting idly by. I think she was just four years old then. Her screen time is never that much (until recently), so you would think being deprived of something would make her a little too enthusiastic once she sees a bounty of options at her disposal.
But that’s not Max. She walked past the screens, grabbed a book from the shelf under the table, and sat beside the laptop as she turned the pages of her read. Her brow furrowed, her lips pursed, she looked like an adult carefully digesting every word to All The Places You Can Go.
Some people have said that Max might be missing out on a lot of things because of the limited interaction with technology. Maybe, but she never appeared to be. I think it’s because she’s never had it, that’s why in her head, there’s no use missing it. Marga has started increasing her technological consumption when she started in big school. When kids start big school, they immediately grow faster. In my opinion of course.
We still exchange letters and postcards. She even challenges me to find newer stamps to use. Her handwriting has improved a lot, and now, her letters sound more like journal entries. Max, I think, was born with an old soul, a soul so seasoned that her song for our wedding was the Beatles’ Here, There, Everywhere. A soul that refuses to accept my name change just because I’m married. A soul that still gets excited over phone calls. A soul that matches mine.
And Marga knows it too.