Watching Raya and the Last Dragon for the 146th time since it came out a month ago. This is how my 3-year-old watches movies. Over and over again, until she’s memorized every line, crying/cheering/asking the same questions at the same parts.

She’s play-rehearsing the story.

Mirroring, copying, acting out, practicing, this is what we naturally do. As far as I can tell, it’s what all animals do. It’s even what cells and genes do. They just copy each other, over and over again, and through that copying and combining, little bits of new things emerge.


Let’s read a new book.


Nooo, I want to read this book again.


But we’ve read that book so many times, you should—


Daddy, I don’t want a new book. THIS book.

Confession: When I’m winding down at the end of the day, avoiding going to sleep even though I should (getting some me time), I often find myself watching a YouTube video for not the first time. I convinced myself at some point this YouTube video was productive, but… again?

I love how little I drive now, but when I used to drive places, I would play the same song over and over, loudly, and sing along, squeezing every nuance out of every part of the mix. I felt shame about this. I even brought it up in therapy.

“Am I foolishly acting out fantasies?”

Is Louisa foolishly dancing to the end credits of her favorite movie of the moment? No way. She’s playing. And we could all stand to play more.

A lot more.

This is how the human being do.

By the way, _Raya_’s a pretty good movie, but the baby’s voice bothers me. That baby’s voice was a mistake.

The baby character is fine. I don’t like her voice. The voice is no good.