I don’t think I will talk about how scary our world is today. I’m trying to focus on the famous Mister Rogers quote to look for the helpers, because they are all around in times like this. I hope the evil in our world can see that – how bright the light shines on those who help.
My oldest son got first place in both of his races at a track meet tonight, and I was so proud of him. My first grader is reading books with chapters and sight-reading words like Pennsylvania, which makes me burst with happiness because of the world now open to him. My sixth grader will sing in Italian at the talent show on Friday, and I will cry.
It’s all pretty normal stuff for the parenting gig. We’re proud of them, mostly because they are moving forward. They know things every single day they did not know the day before. They want new things and try new things and accomplish big, wonderful things. They’re brand new around here, yet based on all the evidence, they’re taking the planet by storm.
I’ve decided perhaps they should be the example, and I will follow. I don’t want to be done yet. I don’t want to wonder things and never look them up or wish I knew more words but never learn them or want something and never run toward it.
It’s because of this, I was so proud last Friday to make one of mine proud with something I had accomplished and things that I had learned and the fact that I was sharing them. Jake’s teacher, Miss King, invited me to her class as a special guest. I told them the most fun thing about writing and the hardest thing about writing (which they totally guessed: the hardest part about writing is actually writing.) I told them what I have learned about Story – that the hero has to want something and that there have to be things in the way. And I told them about my story, and how it had all those elements, and how I totally did it. I wrote all the words, clear until The End, and I made a book.
And after this, Jake wanted to go home with me right then. He would not stop hugging me, and he told me, “Because I love you so much.” And I knew that what he meant was, “I’m proud of you.” For trying, for doing, for wanting the thing and overcoming the obstacles. I’m proud of you.
And let me tell you, this side of that phrase is a very cool place to be.