“I want to help,” she cried. She beamed at her father; her yellow flowered sundress bouncing an eager tempo. Her father looked down and hid a smile as he wiped the sweat from his face. The Texas sun was bright, the air stifling. The oleander and rhododendron drooped after days of unabated heat. Even in the short time they had been outside her Daddy’s white T-shirt was soaked with sweat. He nodded as he handed her the water hose, so big for such a little girl.
“He’s happy,” she thought. “I will water Daddy’s flowers,” she thought proudly.
Struggling to hold the heavy water hose, she wrapped both her tiny hands around it. The dry ground beneath her feet became a puddle, and her sandaled toes wiggled happily. The puddle grew as more flowers on her sundress were thoroughly soaked. But no spot was as big as the smile on her Daddy’s face.
(June 6, 2000–revised journal entry)