“Maybe you have to earn it,” Dylan said when I showed him my post yesterday.
As I read Making Bacon to him, I had teacher hopes that he would be inspired by my attempts to get words on paper. I also had writer doubts as I listened again to my writing. I could hear parts that were a “bit pitchy” and parts that were just plain flat. But, I read each part and I could see Dylan’s eyes following along, tracking the print. I hoped he was also tracking the thinking, my thinking. After all, this post was about a topic that he knew very well. His Dad. His Mom.
As I slowed down to read the post to him, I wondered when we had switched from tracking letters and words and sentences, to tracking thoughts and feelings and ideas. Even as a teacher of reading, I maybe never had as clear an image of what happens as a writer when we leave tracks, footprints in snow, for our readers to follow deep across pages and to slide wildly, hopefully into new places of their own. I wanted Dylan to follow me. As his mom, I think I was watching him as he followed.
When I asked him what he thought, he smiled his ear-lifting grin, that little smile that doesn’t lift his cheeks as much as it moves his ears. He looked up and said, “That’s true.” Perhaps no better words needed to be said at that moment. In the rage of feedback of these teaching days, there was no mention of author’s craft let’s say. (Let me be clear though. I did try to author-craft it for sure.) There was just, “That’s true.” Dylan had followed me to the truth. As a teacher, the day after, I realize this only because I push myself to post. As a mom, in the moment, I captured the quote. My boy at that moment. That is all.
That is enough.
After, I wanted to show Dylan where the post sits, in the blog that I started. I said, “I need to work now to make my blog look nicer.” I switched to some other blogs that I admire. I showed Dylan some of what I hope to learn to do with mine. I said, “I don’t know how to do a lot of these things and I don’t really know how I am going to learn to.” And, that’s when Dylan said, “Maybe you have to earn it.”
So, another day. Another slice. Here I am earning it. Posting.
I am pretty sure that is what he meant. Hey, who is following here?!
PS Tonight we had to make a folder, just a physical folder with two pockets, for Dylan’s first comic book. You should read the blurb.