I know that years from now, my oldest daughter, the budding author, will be sitting in a chair being interviewed on national television. When discussing her auspicious beginnings, her tone will change as she divulges how her mother singlehandedly nearly ended her writing ambitions, all before the age of 13.
The audience will groan.
And I will write out yet another check to cover her imminent therapy sessions.
If you’ll recall, I’m the mother that accidentally washed one of her “books” while fishing out offensive laundry from her room, trying to rid the area of the unmistakable odor of sweaty socks and moldy pool towels. She had a number of hand written pages tucked safely into a pair of her favorite sweat pants. The ones she likes to wear for weeks on end, until they are literally calling me from the floor of her room, begging me to toss them into the washing machine.
The aftermath was tragic indeed.
But then I topped myself.
We use my old laptop for school work and such in the family room/dining room (which is not to be confused with the home school room). Where all the magic happens. After an unfortunate episode which involved the oldest child breaking rules and using the internet without adult supervision (and that’s all I can say about that incident without my head exploding, as I will never EVER find the humor in the situation) we had to take our usual super safety precautions to an all new level. This included changing passwords, installing safety codes, and blocking youtube. FOREVER.
As Fiddledaddy and I were systematically checking the laptop and setting up safeguards, he asked me if he could delete one of the kid accounts that belonged to Emme. I said sure, because there was another separate kid’s account, and we did not need two.
I completely forgot that she had been using this account to write one of her books on the Mac Pages program. I had encouraged her to begin writing her stories on the computer because A) it would improve her typing skills, B) her handwriting was becoming increasingly illegible as she was filling entire notebooks with hand written pages, and C) the wonderful ability to save her work on the laptop.
But guess what? If you delete a user, everything that user was working on would be deleted as well.
I discovered this the next day when I casually mentioned to her that we deleted one of the kids accounts. Her face went ashen. She explained that her book was on her account. My face went ashen. I searched the computer to no avail. After many tears, I encouraged her to go ahead and type the Science paper that was due the next day. Using the Pages program.
When Fiddledaddy arrived home later, I told him of my folly in not remembering her book (which was 28 chapters, and over 150 pages, by the way). He tried using some sort of gizmo to retrieve lost files, but after an exhaustive search, could not find the file in question.
Because it was likely overwritten when I had my daughter type her Science paper on PAGES.
Oh, I was popular in my house that evening, I can assure you.
Days later there is still much sadness and mourning. Just a while ago she came to me and sullenly requested an empty spiral. For her next book. It seems that she doesn’t trust the computer any longer. Or her mother. And no, we didn’t have any sort of external saving doo-da (technical term) on the laptop. Now I know all about dropbox, and that will be what I’ll have her use should she ever trust my technological judgment in the future.
But at least her clothes are clean.
And she will have ample fodder when she writes her autobiography.