April Moments

Maybe, just maybe, telling the story is just as important as the story itself

A 6-year-old sentence

A couple months ago, my husband Mike and I had a meeting with Elliot’s kindergarten teacher. One of the things she told us during our time together is that writing is definitely not Elliot’s favorite activity.

“He’s not like you,” she said to me. “He doesn’t like writing.”

She added that it takes Elliot a while to “get going” on writing assignments. He sits in his seat and watches the other children work, waiting until the last minute before realizing that his time is quickly expiring. At that moment, he becomes much more focused and is able to complete the task.

Elliot’s teacher is fabulous – one of the best in the area and in the state. She is sought after to present workshops, and college education students hope for the chance to have her as a mentor.

All that said, I think she got this one wrong. He is like me. A lot like me, actually.

In one of her most famous posts, “Don’t Carpe Diem,” mommy blogger Glennon Doyle Melton writes, “There was a famous writer who, when asked if she loved writing, replied, ‘No, but I love having written.’”

I relate to that sentiment. Maybe Elliot does too?

So he is a dawdler. So he waits until the last minute. He gets the work done. Maybe he thrives on deadlines like his mama.

Yesterday, when we got home from work and school, Elliot wanted to play outside in the yard. It was a beautiful day, so I said, “OK.” He removed his socks, slipped on his flip-flops and bolted out the back door.

Cecilia and I were not so quick to make our way to the deck, but once we got there, we played silly Elliot games of find-the-pine-cone-in-the-grass and see-who-can-throw-this-ball-the-farthest. Of course, the rules constantly changed because, you know, Elliot was in charge. “Oh, I forgot to tell you, Mama – the rule is you have to throw the ball with your left hand!”

After a little while, Cecilia was hungry, so she and I went inside. Elliot stayed on the deck to play while I prepared dinner. When our food was almost ready, Elliot ran in and asked for a piece of paper.

“I need to write a sentence!” he announced. “I want to write, ‘I lounged in the sun.’ because that’s what I was doing outside, and I don’t want to forget.”

I know that sense of urgency – that moment when something strikes me and I feel like if I don’t write it down immediately, the emotions will fade and the opportunity will pass. There have been times when the need to write hit me so hard that I got out of bed, went to the computer and began typing.

Elliot wrote that sentence perfectly. I’m sure his teacher would’ve been proud that the spelling, spacing and punctuation were all correct. While precise grammar does, in fact, make me happy, I was proudest that he seized the moment and wrote when the urge struck him.

Today is my sweet Elliot’s sixth birthday. Happy birthday, buddy, and may you always find such joy in lounging in the sun!

Originally published on ovparent.com.

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