Form Vs. Function: Arguments from an 8 Year Old

Everyone has their definition of a perfect summer day. These days inspire us and make us long for a chance to escape from the confines of our daily routines.

 A few months back, such a perfect summer day had landed almost fatefully on my day off. But, my delight at the realization was lost on my two daughters. I stood in awe, witnessing as they wasted another day engrossed in their tablets remarking on the adventures of others. It was then that I decided to take matters into my own hands.

After a fierce internal debate, I had finally concocted a plan to take the girls fishing. Once outside they would feel the pleasure of standing on the banks of a small brook. It would be there that I would teach them all about one of my most treasured past times.

Elated by the concept of sharing this experience with my girls, I raced to my stash of supplies and began my preparations.

Before leaving, I ensured that every detail of the procured equipment did not go overlooked. After everything was in order, we were well on our way.

It wasn’t until we reached our destination that I realized I had failed to notice a vital detail, my daughter’s outfit. This was despite a stunning oration on proper fishing attire I delivered only moments before.

My explanation highlighted the importance of dressing appropriately. Especially considering the rocky terrain and muddy byways that adorned the path to our ideal fishing spot. I had instructed the girls to wear pants, closed toed shoes, and an old t-shirt. While my youngest complied with her directive, my eldest daughter had opted to travel her own path. She wore only clothes that would lead to admonishment from my wife should they get ruined.

Confounded by what seemed like a rebuff on her part, I asked her why she hadn’t heeded my warnings about the proper outfit. Her reply was straightforward, “I know, but none of that stuff made me look cute.”

Her logic caught off guard and served to only further my bewilderment. The thought of looking cute had never occurred to me as a necessary need to be able to fish. So, I pressed the issue (my second mistake of the day).

I then began my justifications dressing for each situation. I wanted to ensure that functionality was the winner over style. My daughter listened intently soaking in every word of the dictation. Once I paused to look at her, she responded again in a way that only befuddled me further. “Well, I thought that when I catch a fish that you will want to take a picture and I want to make sure I look cute.” She said.

Again, I found myself without a response. So, we decided to forge on in silence reaching our destination without complication. The rest of our trip was an utter success. Both girls giggled at the concept of holding the slimy fish they had plucked from the murky deep. They enjoyed learning about how the fish lived within the broader underwater ecosystem.

While examining our pictures later that night, I realized that my daughter had a point. She did look great in the photos! This fact prompted the slow realization that we all learned something that day. My daughter had learned about a beautiful part of nature. While my lesson revealed that functionality could be sacrificed in specific scenarios if it meant looking good for a camera.

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