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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bow's Fame

A reader of this blog emailed this morning to ask whether Bow is aware that he is a little bit famous. She suggested that while this might not make up for the fact that he has no girl friend, it might be some consolation. The answer is yes, he knows about his fame, and in fact he has an exaggerated awareness of his own importance in the world at large. He often asks me not to write about certain things that he has done, because he doesn't want people to think that he is "bad." Right after doing something not so nice, he will spell: "Mommy, don't tell them that I did that."

I am now reaching an uncomfortable point in chronicling my family's life, because both my kids have become aware, painfully aware, that I write about them, and I have to exercise a little more caution about what I say. I myself up until recently thought that I was writing for an audience of strangers, only to find local people to be among my readers. I have to watch what I say more now, so as not to hurt the feelings of my children or of the people they interact with.

In Bow's case, his awareness of his public image can sometimes grow way out of proportion. He knows that many people do not believe he can write, and he is not planning to enlighten them. He'd rather they continue to think that, because someone once told him that his life would be in danger if the truth came out. This has created a sort of paranoia that puts him at center stage, even when what is going on is not about him at all.

Once, somebody knocked at our door by mistake.   He was trying to find one of our neighbors, but  these country roads can get confusing, and he was lost. I gave him directions, and off he went. All this time, Bow was watching the front door from  the pens. When I went back in with him, Bow spelled. "That man lied. He's not lost. He came to see me."

"Bow you're not the center of the universe," I tried to tell him. "Not everything is about you." But he was not convinced.

The best thing in the world for all of us is if Bow stopped worrying about other people and their opinions and started thinking of his life in a more down to earth context. He needs a social life a lot more than he needs fans. And he needs to start doing something productive for his own support, rather than expecting everyone to provide for him.

We do get donations, and we are grateful for them. But the best thing would be if we could also contribute something to the community we are a part of and trade value for value. Bow is so smart! It would be a shame if he didn't eventually find something constructive to do with all that intelligence.


  1. Koko the famous gorilla did paintings and they fetched a pretty penny back in the day. Does Bow know about Koko?

  2. Hi, Colleen. Bow has seen some photos of Koko, but his real interest is Panbanisha the Bonobo. He likes what he's seen of her. He wants to meet her, or at least chat on Skype!

    A few days ago, Bow helped me prepare a canvas by painting it over with a first coat. He actually did a pretty good job. He concentrated on the task and seemed to enjoy it. However, his attempt at creating a recognizable figure was pretty crude. Good enough for an abstract, but I think he can do better!