I called my sister yesterday to share a story one of my students wrote. The question was to tell a short narrative with the purpose of entertaining. I started the conversation with “get ready for the funniest story on the planet.” My sister responded with “is it appropriate for young ears because you are on speaker.” Well, I’m used to that when it comes to conversing with a mother of three, but I had to think about this one. Is a squirrel being run over unexpectedly appropriate for a 2, 4 and 6 year old? I had to ask. Teenagers, I’ve got that down to a science. Go any younger than that and I’m pretty clueless.
Having determined that the story was appropriate, I proceeded to read it. The story (which I’ve included at the bottom of the post for those who are interested) is not really the point here. After I finished reading, a little voice piped up from the back.
“Aunt Ashley are you going to continue your writing?”
A little taken aback, because this is not my story that I’m reading to them I do finally respond.
“Yes, Sadie I am.”
“Are you going to continue with your writing?”
“Yes I am.”
“You better.” I tell her.
You see, over the Christmas holidays I pitched my book to a publisher so we spent a long time talking as a family about my book and writing and the process. Sadie, my oldest niece, is often listening even when we think she is playing. She may look like a child, but she has the mind and intellectual capacity of someone much older so by the time we were visiting my sister in January, the first thing Sadie wanted to show me was the book she had written. Yes, my niece had written a book, unprompted, just because she wanted to. And it was good too, using higher order thinking with a unique plot twist that I didn’t see coming. The best part, however, was how she felt the need to explain that what she was reading was just the rough draft and how her final draft was going to be much better. Ah, I love how well they learn when they are young!
Now, Sadie is becoming my muse and accountability girl. She may be only six (almost seven!), but sometimes it’s that kind of childlike enthusiasm and energy that you need to keep you inspired. Because when you have someone who always believes in you, who thinks that you are worth imitating…well…who wouldn’t want to keep moving forward?