She had the reaction when she discovered Bill Murray.
First, my 5-year-old daughter gathered utensils for dinner. Then, my wife and I had to figure out where she put them. They were on the table, like instructed; just not the dining room table.
sShe was distracted, she told me. There were too many things to think about during the day, and her head was full.
"What happened today at school?" I asked. "Why's your head so filled up?"
"Bald eagles aren't really bald," she replied. She said this in a way that revealed it had made her rethink a lot of things.
She had the same reaction when she discovered Bill Murray.
"Did you know the voice of 'Garfield' is also the guy in 'Ghostbusters'?" she said one evening. I told her, of course, his name is Bill Murray, "he's really funny." She looked at me like I should have informed her of this earlier. Like, when we taught her to look both ways before crossing the street, we also should have covered the part about Bill Murray.
Back at the dinner table, I laughed. "Yeah, why do they call them bald eagles if they aren't bald? Maybe they wear wigs."
She shook her head no. "They just have white feathers on their heads," she said.
"How did you learn this?" I asked.
"In school, we made books about American symbols," she replied. She promised, if we ate all of our dinner, she would read it to us. I love a good book on America, I told her. Her little sister took a huge bite.
Little kids constantly make things. One night, she asked me to stay in the kitchen when I got home from work because she had just decided to make me a "welcome home" card, and she needed time.
My wife and I have fantastic notes all over the place. And each time, our daughters get really excited. Sometimes, the excitement goes through the roof, and they beam with pride. Such was the case with the book. She and her fellow students spent a lot of time writing sentences, problem solving and creating art. This is one of the best parts of being a parent.
She flipped through the pages identifying George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the Stars and Stripes and the Liberty Bell.
She stopped on the White House, took a deep breath, and looked at me seriously. "Did you know that the White House has 35 bathrooms?" she asked. Then she moved on.
When we got to the part about bald eagles, we all got excited. She read her entry, stating bald eagles represent strength. "They are safe in America," she continued. "They fish and eat fish. Did you know they are not bald?"
David Manley is an editor at The Canton Repository. Share your stories with him at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @DaveManley