1.29.2009

Storyteller

I was watching my son as he stapled together blank pages of crisp white paper, folded in half to form a book. He proceeded to get his markers and a pen and amidst all his supplies he began to write. Lately, the one activity I can suggest to bring him joy is writing a story. He's written many lately, usually 4 or 5 pages and a total of 50 or 60 words. His stories vary from creative to journal entries of his day, but always, without fail, his name is contained in the pages of his book along with a drawing of his house with the number 6 next to the front door.

I cannot get through reading one of his stories without a smile spreading from one side of my face to the other. They contain little secrets into his soul, and some of his thoughts are so simple, yet deep. All of his stories are a link to his life today, how he sees the world, what activities have stayed with him throughout our day to day happenings. They capture my little boy in a way that I have never before been able to see him. I can now read him through the pages of one of his books.

What I find most interesting about this newfound joy is the similarity to my own childhood days. As a little girl, my favorite gifts were paper and writing tools, and I too would bind them together to create teh pages of a book. I started writing very young, and by the time I was in 6th grade I had written some truly detailed, long stories. They were my pride and joy, and I would spend hours upon hours trying to perfect the characters and the scenarios. One story I wrote was in 5th grade. It included much dialogue and took me ages to perfect. It was a school assignment in which I went above and beyond the call of duty. I spent weeks writing this story about a girl on a horse who has an accident and ends up in teh hospital trying to regain use of her legs. When I turned in the completed work, I rememebr the feeling of pride as I showed it to my teacher, the pages upon pages of carefully written words. He responded kindly, telling me he couldn't wait to read it.
However, after a couple of weeks and the other students all having their copies returned, I was becoming impatient. Daily I asked my teacher if he ahd read my book. He finally acknowledged that he had read a couple of chapters, but he couldn't finish reading the story. He described to me a family emergency which took place only weeks before, in which his sister-in-law had fallen from her horse and was in critical care in the hospital. He said that my story was eerily similar, and he couldn't get through the pages without a sinking feeling in his heart.

I was so utterly disappointed. He was the only teacher available to read my work of art, as I was schooled in a two-room school in the middle of timbucktoo. There were 11 students in grades K-6, and he was the only upper grade teacher. All teh work I had put into my story was a lost cause. I was heartbroken, because though I had written numerous stories previously, this was the first in which I put my heart and soul, and so much time. My story was never returned, and I went on to the following grade always wondering where it landed.

So, now my own son is a budding author. And I am so proud and have the same emotions rushing through me as I read the words which link me to the importances in his life. Stories of birthdays and Christmas and soccer and playing games. Stories about animals and dinosaurs. Stories in which carry many grammatical mistakes. Stories which contain many spelling mistakes. Stories which come from a child's mind and heart. Stories which are written by a child who could not even read just one year ago. He has come so far, and I am just thrilled that my son is following in my footsteps. I believe in writing, and it has always been a part of my life. It leads me to freedom and sanity. It gives me hope and helps me work through difficulties. And it makes me smile. Jari's books also make me smile. I hope when he reads his first works years and years from now, they'll still put a smile on his face, just as they do today as he comes to share with me another of his creative endeavors.

2 comments:

Jade said...

I've always found comfort in blank pages as well. They have always been a tool for me to better understand myself.

Hope he gets as much out of it as you and I do!

Hugs to you my friend

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

I also wrote stories when I was young, so this post really resonated with me. How terrible that your teacher never returned your story to you! But it's great that now your son is writing stories. My younger son does every now and then, and when I read them it feels like things have come full circle. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I like your writing too, and I'll be back often. Best wishes.