As infuriating as he can be, every now and then Crazy gives me cause to love him. The Kid sometimes does, too, but not in the same way. Crazy, unwittingly, leaves extra little reasons to love him lying around. He’s not trying to. It just happens. Like the list I found in his school writing journal.
He didn’t show me the list. I just happened upon it one day as I was going through his backpack. Crazy’s school has a truly superb reading and writing program. It’s the one thing his public school got right. But they only got it right a few years ago, and unfortunately the program isn’t implemented in all the grades. Why use an effective program throughout the district?
I’m glad he at least got the benefit of the program for a couple of years. My daughter never did. As a writer I can say it is the absolute best way of teaching writing I’ve ever seen. In fact, some of the writing prompts and instructions to expand and improve students’ work I do myself in the writing workshop I take now with a published novelist. And I only learned them as an adult. I marvel at the jump start Crazy is getting and lament the poor writing instruction throughout the history of formal schooling prior to this program. Previously, no one ever actually taught writing. We were told to write, but we were never taught how to write.
The program isn’t the quickest or easiest way to teach writing, but it is the best way, and while Crazy often moans and groans about the work involved, I get little gems like this.
This list was in response to a writing prompt from the teacher for his writing journal. Crazy never would have done it on his own, but I’m so thankful to have this tiny window into his head and heart. This is what parents live for. These small gifts dropped into our laps as we march headlong through our days are our rewards. They tend to happen when we aren’t looking. In between the screaming matches and time outs and anxiety-ridden decisions and endless irritation and tireless vigilance, these gifts appear and show us we are on the right path. The guidance and examples and lessons we give are seeping through. It’s working although we’d never know it because they’re not evidenced on the surface.
While I didn’t ask Crazy if I could publish his list, I couldn’t help it. I wanted a record for myself and for all of posterity of his thoughts and soul at this age. He’s 10.
I believe #1 is occasionally the case although it goes both ways. I believe #2 is probably a fairly accurate statement. I believe #3 is in regards to “hobbies” and I see my tireless work on my children is having a positive effect. We are all unique, and we should celebrate that rather than condemn it. I believe #4 is the truth and melts my heart. I believe in #5 as well. “God” forgives us all because we are only human. I believe #6 is referring to his cousin who once gave him a bloody nose, and she was only three. I believe #7 is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. I believe #8 and #9 are the sweetest words to greet a mother’s eyes. We all should be nice to all of us. I believe #10 couldn’t make me any prouder.
I believe this list is testimony I’m doing something right.
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