The origin of the letter E is a pictograph of a person with arms raised in jubilation or prayer. By itself, the hieroglyph meant “joy” in ancient Egypt.
My son emcees his own performance: Me sing ABC song. And so he begins— A, B, C, D, F, G. H, I, J, K . . . All day I hear this version of the alphabet. Always the E missing, as if it's been forgotten along with the plastic farm animals and the once- treasured dump truck on the floor of his room. What does a two-year-old care if it's the most common letter in four major languages? And when he's done applauding himself, he throws his hands in the air, laughing, Up, Mommy! Isn't the symbol itself superfluous then? What else could this be about other than joy, than jubilation?