Monday, March 22, 2010

Chips off the old block...

As most parents, I can see certain traits that my children have inherited from their father and I. I was recently surprised at how scary close those traits mirror my own in my two oldest sons.

Andrew has impeccable comedic timing. He can deliver the punch line and find the humor in just about anything, if he is not interpreting for Whine. Much like Andrew, I can find the humor in just about anything. It has been a defensive mechanism for far too long, and one that has served me well. As I wrote that post, he stood next to me as I typed, laughing his behind off at the characterizations of the unfortunate newest residents of our home. And he kind of stood back in awe, amazed that his mother could write in a way that was so funny to him.

But Andrew's skills do not end there. His verbal skills are outstanding. He is a wonderful writer, no doubt, from the variety of his literary diet, which is voracious. Even as I write this, late at night, my little night owl is perched in a chair beside me, reading as I write, smiling to himself, understanding the love of words and their flow from my thoughts through my fingers and onto the screen.

See the thing about Andrew is that he loves to read with the same intensity and passion that his older brother has. And he and his brother both inherited that trait from me. Because even to this day, I am SO HAPPY when I am reading a really engrossing book. Words have always held a certain thrill for me...

But, they never knew about my secret love affair with writing. So, of course, when I told them that I was going to start this blog, the two older boys were a little confused (in the sense of, wait a minute, you had a life BEFORE us, you were good at something that you liked doing, you DON'T like waiting on us hand and foot?) and they were concerned (as was their father) that they would be portrayed in a negative light. What could they possibly be so worried about? Mama just likes to tell a story well... And apparently, so do my offspring.

Matthew received a form to compete in a drawing to be a kid reporter for Time For Kids (TFK), a monthly periodical designed specifically for school aged children. One night last week, he sat diligently, completing the form with all necessary information. As part of his entry, he had to write a letter to the editors of TFK, explaining why he would be a good choice for the position. My son wrote eloquently for a third grader; explaining that he was writer, he enjoyed gathering the latest news, and then, the clincher; his mother had her own blog.

He spent the next fifteen minutes following me around the house like a love-sick puppy, try to get me to stop whatever I happened to be doing at that particular moment and sign the application. Of course, I would not sign it until I read the letter, and when I read it, I felt a familiar tug in my heart.

I remembered how excited I felt when I wrote a piece to be considered for my junior high's newspaper, and was able to secure the feature editor's position. I remember the sense of fulfillment when we would finish the layout for the latest edition and put it to bed, the thrill of seeing the paper published and seeing my name in the byline. And even today, when I see comments on my posts, when I hear my coworkers discuss topics that I have discussed here, it makes my heart sing.

My son came home on Friday and told me that he had to write a sample article to submit with his application. For a brief moment, he had the look of a seasoned, old time, newsman; on the prowl for a good story to work his magic on.

Over the course of the last few days, our state legislature in its infinite wisdom is trying to pass a potentially devastating piece of legislation that will cut education off at the knees. Among other things, it threatens the professionalism of teachers throughout the state, who already work miracles in the most adverse conditions and circumstances. Many teachers at my school are organizing to make the issue known and drum up parent support. I painted my car windows and the boys were asking me about it this afternoon.

When I suggested to Matthew that this might make for an interesting story, his eyes gleamed. And we discussed a possible story and angle. Two writers, creating...

Many things can be taught, but many things; the best things, are passed on in families.

And of all the things my boys could have inherited from me, I am overwhelmed that they inherited the things about myself that I treasure the most.


  1. Lucky, lucky you, Maria. If I love something, even if my kids have aptitude for it, they automatically reject it!

    I love the image of the 3rd grade newsman! I hope he gets the job!

  2. that is so exciting! I would love to see what he comes up with! If hes half as good of a writer as you, he will be amazing!

  3. Ahh, Maria, this piece has me tearing up this morning. The idea of raising boys who love reading and writing as much as I do is a magical one to me. Good for you for creating a home environment in which creativity is nurtured and supported - and good for you (and lucky us!) for rediscovering your own passion for writing. As much as anything, you are modeling the pursuit of one's dreams for your kids. xoxo


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