Just as with the road to reading, the road to writing has been bumpy and full of fear, uncertainty and reluctance.
For the longest time, Em refused to do more than sign her name. And forget trying to remind her when to use uppercase versus lowercase, even that was a verboten topic.
My daughter is a perfectionist. And as I have said before, she comes by it naturally – I fear both of her parents suffer from it!
On the heels of more and better reading – willing reading at that – has come another new development …writing.
And let me tell you, that’s a fine thing to see! Notes are cropping up everywhere!
She has pushed past the “I must ask Mama if I am spelling everything correctly” and plunged deep into the writing waters, spelling mainly phonetically and unafraid of “doing it wrong.”
This is a wonderful development. Truly it is.
The fact of the matter is this – you can have zero writing, or writing that is rife with errors she can learn to fix over time, or reluctant, yet perfect writing. And when it comes down to it, I want her WRITING. Spelling errors, grammar, uppercase/lowercase issues – these can all be fixed over time. If she is willing to write, then eventually she will pick these things up and the whole act of writing isn’t such a frightening task.
So here is the best part…
Just over a week ago, Em mentioned that she had been writing in her journal. A present from one of the children at her birthday party, it has plenty of lined pages and is either a Princess or Frozen theme on the cover – a huge win for my little girly girl.
On her own, without any suggestions or prodding from me, she decided to write about her day. She actually began with a day that had occurred a month or so ago, and then went from there, talking about highlights of her days as if they had just happened.
I remember my own forays into keeping a journal, and how my mother had said, “That’s not how you journal, it would take you all day to write about your day if you do it piece by piece.” It was a lesson I would have learned on my own as I mucked through the lines describing brushing my hair and eating breakfast and walking to school, but instead, I decided that I really didn’t know anything about writing and refused to journal (even while being marked down for it in school) for YEARS. I was an adult before I would try it again.
The smallest things, said with the best of intentions, can stunt children in the most peculiar ways. So I did not say, “Oh you need to write things as they happen or say WHEN it happened.” In fact, I didn’t say a doggone thing other than, “Writing in your journal is a wonderful thing to do. It is a way of remembering our daily lives and the things that have happened to us and is a place we can record our hopes and dreams. Don’t worry a bit about whether words are spelled right or if there is correct punctuation. That will come. That will come in the act of doing just what you are doing…writing.”
I wanted to shout with glee, “My child is writing! She is WRITING!” Instead, I smiled, and said good night to her. She looked so excited that night, a pen and journal firmly in her grasp as she climbed into bed. I turned off the overhead light as she flipped on her small bedside lamp to write by. “I’m going to write about playing with my friends today, Mama!”
“That sounds wonderful, Baby! I love you!”
In the end, I want the accomplishment to be hers. I fully intend to live vicariously through my child, enjoying the journey every step of the way, while realizing it is her life, her interests, and her future that is unfolding. And that is a beautiful thing.