My favorite Patriots hat has been missing for more than a week. When I went to Boston earlier in the week to tell a story, I had to wear an older, less lucky hat. I assumed that I had lost it somewhere along the way, but then one night at dinner, my daughter, Clara, asked, "Dad, do you know where your red hat is?"
"No," I said. "Do you?"
"I'm not telling," she said, smiling at me.
It was two more days before Elysha convinced her to tell me that it was hidden at the bottom of her dress-up box. She had taken it off my head more than a week ago as we were wrestling before bed and hidden it. Then she said nothing.
"You've been sitting on that prank for a week?" I asked when she finally handed it over.
"Yup," she said.
I can't get fifth graders to sit on a prank for 19 seconds before they blab to the victim. I am routinely disappointed by friends who won't allow other friends to twist in the wind until a carefully designed prank has reached its limit. No one seems to have the patience or the cruelty these days to extend a prank to it's ultimate conclusion.
My daughter stole my favorite hat off my head and hid it for a week without saying a word. Then, after hinting that she might know where it was, it took two days and her mother's urging to finally reveal its location.
She's brilliant. She's patient. She's cruel.
She's my girl.