|Friendship:||Gen stories about the friendship between Col. Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson, with a team focus.|
|Season/Spoilers:||Season 4. No particular spoilers.|
|Synopsis:||A woman, a man and an exceptional child.|
|Warnings:||None, nada, zilch.|
May 10, 1950.
Today is my fifteenth birthday. Ugh ugh ugh!
School was horrible. Invisible would be an improvement. Why do I have to be such a nothing?
I hate my mirror. I hate my mousy hair. Dirty blond, impervious to every beauty device created by mankind. I hate my complete lack of anything resembling a figure. I hate my stupid glasses. I hate my awful name. I just hate me. I'm too short, too skinny, too blahblahblah.
Why can't I be tall and elegant, like Gloria Bethel? Or svelte and green eyed, like Beverley Athey? They're both stupid as logs, but none of the boys in school seem to mind. Any boy who actually says two words to me can't run fast enough when he discovers I'm smarter than he is. Is that being conceited? When everything else about me is so YUCK?
I think it's too late for this duckling to discover she's really a swan. No fairy tales for Claire. Maybe I'll just crawl under the bed and live there.
Just to make everything perfect, HE showed up last weekend.
It's bad enough that I'm such a zero all by myself. Why did I have to have a weirdo for a father? Not that he actually is much of a father. Shows up out of the blue to snatch a place to stay while he's wangling for money or trying to get something published. I think Mom hates him. Or she loves him, which is probably worse. Why doesn't she just tell him to go sponge off someone else? It's not as if we've got anything to spare. Mom works hard, and the little bit she got from her folks hardly makes a difference. HE's supposed to be the one that supports US.
Stupid old guy didn't even remember it was my birthday. "NICK", he says. NOT "Dad." Well, I don't want him for my dad, anyway. So he can just BE Nick.
I am never going to get married. Especially not to somebody like him.
I hate my life.
I am so miserable.
April 24, 1953.
Yes! It came today! I'm so excited!
College has to be better than high school, right? Everybody there will be smart. And no Gloria or Beverley to make life miserable. Actually, I think maybe Gloria and Ted Walters may have gotten a bit too... well, too cozy. Suddenly she's not around much. And that wedding date arrived amazingly soon after graduation.
Oh, bad Claire. Just because she's driven my life into the slough of despair on a regular basis doesn't give me the right to be a catty gossip, even if I'm only gossiping with myself.
But still-I think it's true. Just one moment of self-righteous smugness allowed. (Claire smirks)
Of course, going to a good college won't ever make me beautiful, but there are other things, right? And there must be a few guys in college who prefer brains to gorgeous cheekbones, brilliant green eyes, a big chest, and legs up to HERE. It just stands to reason. I hope. Pleeeeeeease.
Wow, I don't believe I'm being this silly. But I really am excited about going away.
And the scholarship-full tuition. Mom says she can help me with the rest, and my savings will go a ways. I worked during high school; I can work when I go to college as well.
Yes yes yes! College girl Claire.
Now I just have to decide what my major will be. Not NOT going to study archaeology. Are kids allowed to disown parents? Whatever. I'm never ever going to be his kind of Ballard.
September 5, 1955-8:40 a.m.
Today I'm officially no longer a sophomore. Silly, but I hated that (laugh at Claire). Nothing like being labeled a "wise fool" for a whole year.
I'm loving my major. Languages are so great! I love the way the patterns and relationships work. Yummy.
Unfortunately, this semester is the bad one. I've got to take that required Arch. course. Nick's junk. Though I've already figured out that I'm not going to be hearing about him. It seems everyone thinks he's as crazy as I do. But I don't see why I have to take this stupid course for a linguistics specialty. Just because linguistics and archaeology are both technically anthropology.
Only saving grace is, I actually got the permission for that graduate level course on Egyptian hieroglyphics. That is so neat... a language made of pictures. Makes all our Romance and Teutonic languages look pretty boring. First time they've ever let a junior take that class. (Claire buffs nails on sweater, impressed with self)
But... got to get through the awful archaeo first. I will not succumb to Nick's stuff. Not not not. I will be excellent, but bored. Won't risk the GPA, but will not get interested.
September 5, 1955-11:00 a.m.
All right. This is truly frightening. I really enjoyed that. Interesting stuff.
Of course, the prof doesn't hurt. Nice.
He's not really a professor-he's a post-grad student. And he's kind of attractive, in a not gorgeous way.
Well, that sounds stupid. But I really liked him. He's maybe thirty or so. Older than most of us, but not too old. And he's got these great, soft brown eyes. Kind of a craggy face, big hands, coarse black hair that looks like he never combs it. And he's got to be a foot taller than me.
But I liked him a lot. And boy does he love this archaeology stuff.
Sadly, I'm afraid I'm going to as well. Mom will be horrified. I'm horrified!
October 7, 1955-11:00 a.m.
I'm loving this class. I'm hating loving it, but there's just no way around it. Archaeology is a kick, and Claire is hooked.
It's hard to hang onto boredom when Dr. Jackson gets started. I've never actually been around any archaeologists except Nick. Dr. Jackson isn't like Nick at all. Oh, he's just as obsessed, but in a not-crazy kind of way. He's just, well, passionate about it.
We're in the middle of the Egyptology unit right now. It's great to have the language boost from the linguistics class-gives me an edge over most of the class.
But I wouldn't need it. This is Dr. Jackson's specialty, and he just breathes this stuff. Funny, he's kind of shy and really quiet outside class. But once he gets going with the lectures, he's mesmerizing. You can tell how much he loves it.
November 21, 1955
Oh my God. I knew it would happen. Why couldn't we have stayed with Egypt for the rest of the semester?
But no, we just had to move on to Central and South America, didn't we? And that includes blasted, rotten, cursed Belize.
And Dr. Jackson knows. I felt his eyes on me every minute he talked about Central American artifacts. And that stupid, stupid skull. And my stupid, wacko father.
And now I think I want to die. Ugh.
He's just a teacher, right? So what if I can never look him in the eyes again.
November 22, 1955
Well, that was nice. And unsettling.
I ran into Dr. Jackson in the quad, and we... well, we talked. About Nick, and the skull, and me.
I told him the whole stupid story, including the stuff about personally declaring archaeology anathema.
First he commiserated. Then he laughed quietly. Then he really talked to me.
He said that I didn't have to let Nick's notoriety mess up my life. That I should make choices based on what I want, not what I think Nick wouldn't want.
And he said that I had a real future in the field. That I'd be better than Nick ever was.
Wow. And he was sooooo nice!
Bad, bad, Claire. No crushes on the professors! You know better. But, well... I really like him. He's so kind, and soooo smart. And he's got an incredibly appealing kind of gruff shyness. Took him quite a long moment to decide he actually wanted to talk to me, but once he did, he looked me right in the eyes and treated me like an intelligent person. An equal, not a student.
But no pass. Is this good or bad? I get the feeling he'd never start a relationship with a student.
Oh, wow. And woe. This is completely a no no.
But at least I don't have to worry about the Nick thing any more.
December 8, 1955
Surrender. I give up. I guess it's fate. Just added 'archaeology' to my major. I'm now officially a double-discipline dodo.
I just couldn't stand it any more. I loved that class so much, and not just because of Dr. Jackson.
But no Central America for me. I'm keeping my academic feet firmly positioned in northern Africa. It's Egypt for me. Belize, get thee gone!
September 7, 1959
One more year. I should finish this year. Then I'll be Dr. Ballard. Yes, yes, yes!
And the best news-I've been accepted for Dr. Elliston's winter dig in Egypt. I'm so excited! All these years in school, and this is the first time I've actually been an official member of an Egyptian dig. Can't wait!
Interesting additional bonus... Just got the full roster for the dig. Elliston's assistant is none other than my junior crush, Dr. Melburn Jackson. Haven't seen him since that wonderful semester. He's apparently been in the field most of the time, or putting in time at other universities.
Wonder if the buzz is still there. Wonder if he'll even remember me.
Don't be stupid, Claire. He's probably married with 2.3 kids by now.
January 30, 1960
Oh, boy. Oh, boy.
I just got kissed. It wasn't an award winner (so I'd know?), but I'd take a dozen just like it. Before dinner.
A month digging together in the sands of Egypt isn't your normal first-date scenario, but it worked for us. I'm thinking I'm really in love.
Funny thing is, we're still not on first-name footing. We've been dancing around each other since we got here. He is shy. And sweet, in an unpolished kind of way. He still calls me 'Miss Ballard.' And I haven't been invited to use his first name yet either.
Are we strange?
Don't care. I'm getting really close to happy here!
February 12, 1960
Sadly, all wonderful things end, and we're all heading back to the States. Don't know where I stand with Mel. At least he finally got up the courage to ask me to call him by his first name. But he's going to England to spend Spring at Oxford; I'm back to Chicago.
February 13, 1960
All right! We make slow progress, but at least it's progress. I have now been officially invited to participate in next year's dig, which will be under the direction of one Dr. Melburn Jackson.
One still unmarried Melburn Jackson. Guess I should have ascertained that before that first kiss. (laugh at Claire)
January 6, 1961
God, I've missed Egypt. Five weeks out of my life I was here, and I'd gladly stay forever.
And Mel... Well, I've figured out that he missed me as much as I missed him. I got a very nice welcome to the dig. (smug giggle)
He took me into the bazaar today. We had a terrific time. And I got another kiss when we got back to the hotel. I'm keeping track.
I really ...
Okay, Claire. No jinxing things.
January 13, 1961
I don't... I can't...
WOW! Yes yes yes yes yes!
Mel's been to the bazaar without me. For a ring. I'm an engaged woman.
Is it undignified to turn cartwheels through the site? Would it tarnish that brand new PhD?
Who cares! (laugh at Claire, who is giddy and so very happy)
January 16, 1961
So what are the logistics of marriage in Egypt, anyway? At least, marriage that will be legal when we head back to the States? Consulate?
I've sent a letter to mother. Not looking forward to the reply. She was unhappy enough when I changed my tune about archaeology. When she discovers I'm going to marry one, she'll flip. She'll see me crawling down the same path she's been on all these years.
But it won't be like that for us. I'm sure. For one thing, I'm already his colleague. I won't be staying behind while he goes out adventuring, the way mother did. I'll be there beside him, year after year.
And Mel is so very different from Nick. We won't end up like mother and Nick.
Speaking of the wretched man, I haven't the faintest idea how to find him to tell him about this. Not that he'd care. I haven't heard from him in years.
So I won't care, either. I'd just as soon he stayed out of my life.
I've asked Mel about his family, but he hasn't said much that's very definite. I get the impression he doesn't really have any. I know he's got some money. He's providing part of the funding for this project himself. But it's not a huge amount, and it comes from some trust or other. We're still operating on a shoestring.
So I think the only family we have to worry about is mine.
January 23, 1961
Oh, I love being married! I'm so happy.
Last night was... well... Oh, God! I'm a prude! I can't even tell my own journal about my wedding night! (laugh at silly Claire-sad to discover this character flaw at age 25)
Other than that stuff I don't seem to be able to articulate, I think the best moment was when our German colleague, Kurt Weiner, informed me that in Germany, as a Doctor of Archaeology, married to another Doctor of Archaeology, my official name was now "Professor Frau Professor Jackson."
For some reason, that reduced me to hysterics.
World, meet Dr. Claire Ballard Jackson. Professor Frau Professor. Archaeologist. Linguist. Married Lady (yippee!).
January 4, 1965
Oh, God. This is terrible. What am I going to do?
We've been so happy. Four years of what I see as the perfect marriage. I love Mel so much... more than I could have imagined even the day we were married. And he's been a wonderful husband. He's loving, and he thinks all the time about making me happy. And he treats me like an equal, professionally and personally. I really do know how rare that is in a husband.
We've been deliriously contented, hardly separated for an hour through the last four years.
And then I had to go and do this.
Maybe I can find someone to take care of it for me.
Oh, God. I can't believe I even thought that, let alone wrote it down. But this is just awful.
Pardon my language, but a baby is just going to shoot my life to hell! No more equal partners. No more year after year dealing with the rigors of the climate and other hardships of life in Egypt. Babies are too delicate.
I'll be my mother-staying at home while Mel goes out into the field. And how could he possibly stay interested in me? Our relationship is as much an intellectual one as a physical one.
Oh God, oh God. How can I tell him I've been so stupid?
January 5, 1965
I'm stunned. And I love this man so much.
I told him. He's so quiet all the time-sometimes I don't have the faintest idea what's going on in his head. He just sat there for the longest ninety seconds of my life. I had plenty of time to imagine my life reduced to smoking ruins.
Then he calmly, quietly explained how we are going to handle this.
He's not going to send me home to the States to have and tend a baby. He's giving up the dig for half a year; Kurt can handle it while we're out of the country.
And he's going to accept one of the offers he gets all the time-take a teaching position for a semester.
The baby is due in the summer, so by the time we're ready to head back to Egypt for the winter season, he'll be several months old. With precautions and care, Mel is sure we can tuck him right into our lives. Or her.
Then he grabbed me and kissed my face off. I can't believe how much I love this man.
July 9, 1965
I am never doing this again! If Mel wants any more kids, he's going to have to go out and find them himself. This lady has produced her quota for life.
Ow, ow, ow. I hurt all over. Especially down there. Ugh.
However, it is nice to see my toes again. I've missed them. And for the first time in my life, I actually have a chest. Sore as it is.
We have a baby boy. They handed him to me right after they wiped him off. I'm not impressed. Red, wrinkly. They tell me he's average size, but I don't believe them. I'm the one who gave birth to him; I'm sure he's at least twice the size he's supposed to be. Though I have to admit he doesn't look it.
He cried a bit, but not much. So far he's a pretty quiet baby. Though I'm sure he'll make up for it eventually. He's only had about two thirds of a day to get the hang of it.
Oh, God. No more, I swear.
July 10, 1965
Well, we named him Daniel. Daniel Evans. I've always loved the name Daniel-it's musical, somehow.
He's not. Musical, that is. He's actually pretty boring and uninteresting, as people go. No personality-or hair, for that matter. Hazy blue eyes. All newborn babies have hazy blue eyes. I may send him back to the manufacturer.
(Hah!) No chance of that. Even if I wanted to, Mel is totally captivated. Is there anything sweeter than a man with a baby? And Mel has virtually no experience with children. Come to that, neither do I. But we'll figure it out.
I think I'm starting to like the little thing. (laugh at Claire. He's adorable, and she knows it)
I called my mother. She's interested in a tepid way. I think she's afraid I'm going to dump him on her while I traipse off back to Egypt. And of course, no one has any idea where to find good old Nick.
Mel and I finally had a discussion about his family. I've been nagging him a bit about it. I figure they should know about Danny.
I'm a little stunned. He's pretty much divorced his family. Wow. That's what I wanted to do, back in my miserable teen years. He did it. He walked out of his high school graduation into an attorney's office, changed his name, and just left his family behind.
He's adamant about not wanting anything to do with them. Absolutely refuses to tell me what his name was before he changed it. "I'm Melburn Jackson, and as far as I'm concerned, I've always been Melburn Jackson," he said.
So I figure I know as much as I'm ever going to know. Do I care? I don't think so. Whatever his name is, he's mine. A different name wouldn't make him a different man. And I adore him, regardless of his name.
Can't wait to get back to Egypt. Mel, too. He's enduring teaching, but he doesn't love it.
January 17, 1968
Just read over some of my entries in this journal. It's hard to contemplate how I could have made some of them.
How, how, how could I have considered 'doing something' about Danny? How could I not have wanted him? And how could I ever have described him as boring and uninteresting, as having no personality? In retrospect, that's incredibly funny.
He's a complete joy. Not only do I adore him for his own incredible little self, but he's made our life together richer and happier. Mel dotes on him, and Danny repays every attention with that unreserved love so characteristic of happy children.
I know every mother thinks her child is wonderful, but Danny really is. (laugh at doting-mommy Claire)
For one thing, he's a gorgeous child. I have no idea where that lovely blond hair came from. If mine is any indicator, it'll darken as he ages. But for now, it's like the sun sits on his head. And he's got the biggest, bluest eyes. Most of the time, they're solemn and curious. But he can burst into the kind of merriment that overcomes his whole little body, and then they sparkle like gems. And always-that immense trust. Like he knows no one would ever hurt him.
Sometimes that scares me, because there are things out there that hurt trusting little children. But we'll keep him safe. There's a Danny-sized pocket between Mel and me-he'll always tuck in there safe as we can possibly make him.
He's got the sweetest little face-round chin, tender, soft mouth, typically a gentle, sweet-tempered expression. He has already learned how to make that mouth pout. I'm afraid our baby is just a teeny bit spoiled (laugh). But usually his temperament matches that expression.
He's two now. Walking is beginning to give way to running-and he can be a slippery little weasel when he wants to go. He started to walk at about ten months. Walked from me to Mel, chasing an alabaster statuette Mel was cleaning. Archaeology must be hereditary. He's already got the bug.
We worried a bit about the talking. He hadn't said more than a few words by his first birthday. A few weeks later, he started jabbering, and he's hardly let up since.
I think maybe he took a bit longer than normal because he's been surrounded by three different languages-we speak English at home, but the workers are all Egyptians, and on the dig site, everyone chatters away in Arabic and various Egyptian dialects. I figure he had to get things sorted out before he actually started using any of them. Astoundingly, he uses all three. And he doesn't seem to have any trouble sorting out which is which.
We generally try to leave him at home with his nanny, but we are rarely strikingly successful. He objects-vigorously and occasionally loudly-to being left behind. So most days we end up taking him to the dig with us. Nanny is nominally in charge, but in reality the entire crew watches over him. He needs watching, because he gets into everything, but he loves it so much I haven't the heart to refuse him. He ends his days utterly filthy, exhausted, and deliriously happy. Little monkey. At least he never has any trouble sleeping through the night.
March 18, 1970
Again recognizing that all mothers think their children are exceptional, I have to venture the opinion that Danny really is. Not just a mother's doting admiration speaking. I know I haven't been around many children, but I'm sure Danny's intellectual development is outside the norm.
For one thing, he's not yet five years old and he can already speak, read and write three languages. Fluently. And he absolutely loves 'helping' me with my translations. He'd rather cuddle in my lap and have me read to him from my texts than listen to any storybook. His thirst for the words is insatiable. In desperation, I finally made him a coloring book of the symbols he was learning. We add pages as he learns more, with pictures and illustrations. He's getting quite an arsenal of hieroglyphic and hieratic symbols. And he knows what they mean and how to put them together. And it's a game. The only thing he loves more is 'helping' Mel on the site. He has his own set of small tools, and takes his orders very seriously. When he isn't wandering off to start his own 'expeditions,' that is.
I admit that I hadn't thought about just how remarkable all this was until this morning. Kurt is working with us for the first time in a couple of years, and he and Danny have really hit it off. This morning, I suddenly realized that Danny had, once again, gone missing. He has a distressing tendency to explore and to embark upon his own 'excavations.' After a frantic half hour, Nanny and I ran him to ground. He'd been 'helping' Kurt the whole time. Bless the man, he has almost as much patience with Danny as Mel. Danny was crouched down, watching as Kurt gently extracted a nice fragment of a painted amphora from the matrix. And chattering away in reasonably fluent, if simple, German. Despite the fact that he'd never been taught German, and had never, until this last week since Kurt joined us, encountered anyone who spoke German.
A most unusual child, I think. I also think I'm going to begin exploring just how unusual.
May 15, 1971
I am once again astounded with my child. He has an amazing affinity for languages.
He's sitting beside me, drawing in his notebook as I write in my journal. We've been reading. Latin. He's fluent in a half dozen spoken languages, as well as several extinct written languages. And it's all still like play to him.
He thinks in patterns and relationships. I think that's why the languages are so easy for him. He perceives the logic behind the language before he actually starts building enough vocabulary to converse. So by the time he does have vocabulary, the structure is already there for him to use. Amazing. And he really sees the relationships between languages. After he began to get a grasp on Spanish, I tried him with Italian. He ate it up... he understood instantly the connections between them. He's actually perceived some relationships between the languages we are sharing that have escaped me.
I tried him on some simple ciphers. He solved them almost immediately. Patterns and relationships.
He still loves to dig with us as well. He's actually getting proficient enough to be a help, rather than a distraction. Mel suggested that Nanny could start staying at home. (laugh at Mel-she makes him nervous, poor baby)
Unfortunately, I'm worried about a different aspect of Danny's life. He's almost never with children. He's spent his entire life in the company of adults. He doesn't 'play' the way a child is supposed to. He's a gentle, serious boy, and for him, playing is digging artifacts with Daddy, or puzzling through languages with Mama.
Very occasionally, he'll spend some time playing with the local children, but after a short time he always wanders back to Mel's or Kurt's side. He'd rather get his face dirty digging with them than playing with the other children.
I'm getting pretty concerned about this. Two weeks ago, we had dinner with the Ambassador. Danny was relegated to the children's rooms, to spend the evening with several other youngsters of local American couples. He was not only completely bored, he was also very confused by their interests and concerns-and they thought he was too weird for words.
I think I need to talk to Mel about this. I can't think of any solution that wouldn't take away the things Danny loves so much.
There's another problem, too. One which, in the circumstances, is rather bizarre. Daniel should be going to school. What on Earth would happen to a boy like Danny in a traditional school?
June 4, 1971
I could slap Nick. Why couldn't that old idiot stay lost? We've been getting along just fine without him.
How could he just waltz in, as if he were part of the family? Well, I guess he is. In an official sense. But he's broken bread with us for the last time.
Mel really doesn't like Nick. And Nick thinks Mel is boring.
Mel surprised me a bit tonight. He's generally so quiet and private, but he really ripped into Nick over his poor record as a husband and parent. And he had a few sharp things to say about Nick's handling of Danny as well.
I don't know whether to scream in rage or hilarity over that one. Nick is dreadful with children, and I should know.
But he was rather taken with Danny. He walked in while the two of us were playing with the glyphs, and I think it was the first time the old buzzard had ever considered the possibility that a child could be interesting.
So he rather set out to woo our son. Badly.
Danny is so trusting-he was perfectly ready to give the stranger a chance.
So Nick decided to tell him a story. An awful, gory, bloody story he got from some of that South American legendry he studies.
Initially, Danny was enthralled, then horrified. Then frightened. Then he figured out that none of it was real.
He was so infuriated at being hoodwinked that he stood four-square in Nick's face, little hands on his hips, and told him he was a Bad Man! I've never seen my baby so angry. Then he stomped off to play with his translations.
That's when Mel lit into Nick. Nick said he was just trying to show a little interest in his grandson. Mel told him not to bother.
Never again. Old buzzard.
May 31, 1972
This spring has been a whirlwind! We made such a marvelous find last February, and we should get the last of the large stones excavated within the week. We've already made arrangements to set up an exhibit featuring the tomb and the accoutrements we've got prepared. The New York Museum of Art was eager to acquire it. So we'll finish out the season, then go to New York this summer.
That means I have to talk to Mel about Danny. I can't put it off any longer. He'll be seven in July, and he's never spent a day of his life in a school. As far as that goes, he's virtually never set foot on U.S. soil. We've taken him over much of Europe, quite a lot of Asia, and a bit of Africa. But we haven't been back to the States since we brought him here when he was less than a year old.
The problem is that I just can't decide what I think we should do. The thought of our Danny in any school I ever attended horrifies me. Danny's socialization is completely bizarre for an American child. Children can be cruel, and he's going to seem completely strange to typical American school children. And he's such a gentle little soul. They'd eat him alive.
And what would your average teacher do with such a student? In some ways, Danny's years ahead of any 'normal' child his age. And he's so used to going his own way and making his own entertainment. He reads and writes like an adult-in several languages. He's fascinated by history, so he's happily learned every tidbit he can get his hands on. He knows a lot of world geography first hand. But in some things he's going to be so far behind. He knows nothing of American culture. And though he can count and knows what numbers mean, for some reason he isn't much interested in anything he can do with them. So he's right at the beginning when it comes to arithmetic. He's also a stubborn little guy. It's almost impossible to get him to concentrate on something that doesn't grab his interest.
We probably should have been sending him to the American school at the embassy in Egypt. But I balk at the thought of sending him away for days at a time. He'd have to stay in Cairo during the week. I have to admit that the thought of having him away from us even five days out of every week makes my heart lurch. And if we put him into an American school, we'd leave him for months. I just couldn't bear it.
Maybe we should consider hiring a tutor to bring to Egypt with us? Who's to say that the 'normal' socialization of children is the only, or even the best way to raise a child? Danny is developing beautifully just the way he is.
Maybe with the financial boost from this exhibit we'll be able to consider the price of a tutor.
July 8, 1972
Whew! Big, dusty job. I'm grateful for the chance to catch my breath. But it's going to be just gorgeous when we finish. We've got the small pieces set and labeled in the cases. All that's left is finishing up the display of the tomb fragment itself. We've got the pillars set, and they're mounting the chains to lift the coverstone right now.
Danny's having the time of his life. New York has been a revelation to him. He's spent half his waking hours just staring, sweet little mouth hanging open, taking in the sights. The crowds, the cars, the lights, everything. And he's completely fascinated by, of all things, the bidet in our hotel room.
He's driving the museum staff crazy. I've told them over and over that he'd never harm anything he perceives as an 'artifact,' so their displays are perfectly safe. But they've trailed him all over the museum as he explores and discovers. To them, he's just a seven-year-old boy, and all seven-year-old boys are potential disasters turned loose in a museum.
Seven. Happy birthday, my darling baby. I've talked the school thing over with Mel, and he agrees with me. No school for Danny. We're going to start interviewing potential tutors as soon as the exhibit opens. It's not going to be easy. We need someone who's young and lively enough to keep up with Danny, someone with enough intellectual flexibility to guide him without fettering him. And someone who's willing to pick up his life and move it to Egypt with us. And the hardest part... someone we can afford. (Claire chuckles nervously... how much is reasonable to pay a person to give up their whole life?)
Brief break-Danny just joined me. Hard to write and pay attention to him at the same time (laugh). He's chattering top speed. He likes this place. I think he's covered every floor. His current watchdog is looking decidedly worn out.
Can't wait for this evening. He's going to love his birthday present. We've arranged a special dinner, with birthday cake, in the hotel restaurant. Then presents after. Besides our gift, he's got a dozen surprises from his friends back in Egypt. We actually shipped his box of goodies along with the artifacts for the display.
Wish we could have brought a few of our people with us. The museum's team is excellent, but it would be easier with folks who know how we work. And it would be much easier if we could turn Danny over to someone he knows, who will keep an eye on him without interfering with his explorations and discoveries. Our entire team knows how he is.
Oops. Mel's calling. They're ready to position the coverstone. One kiss for my little sweetie, then I'm off to help. Have fun, baby boy.
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