1. They normally cannot stomach writing or drawing
Meanwhile, back on the home front, Ashlyn was congratulating herself on "her" fab job in "choosing" the dress up Minnie play set, and having a blast playing with it; sans the set's actual owner, Caedance. To keep tempers tamped to a low simmer, I used my stealthy Mom Powers to convince Caedance that she didn't really want to play with the doll at all. No. What she really wanted was to spend some quality time drawing pictures with me at the table. (What a super event that would be!)
Unconvinced, she joined me at the table, slightly snarling while I gathered the Art supplies. Dubiously, she looked at the sketch paper and crayons and asked the fateful question: "Mommy, will you draw me a Minnie Mouse?"
Now, here's the thing about asking me to draw anything. I am no Picasso. Heck, I'm not even Picasso's brother's friend's aunt's cousin's sister's housekeeper, (nor do I even know if such an entity ever existed). In fact, my pale contributions to the art world tend to lean more to the side of "Disappointment". However, this was an opportunity to show my non-drawing friend how the real purpose in anything is simply to try.
Crayon in hand, I drew the mouse. I handed it to her and to my astonishment, she picked up a crayon and drew one too. I drew another, and so did she. We then moved on to Daisy and Donald, each of us offering our renderings for consideration. When the paper was filled with our varied inspirations, she folded it in half and ran off to share her splendors with Ashlyn.
She was back at my side a few minutes later. "Mommy, this looks like a book", she said, noticing the half fold of her paper. "Only there's no words in it." A frown creased her brows.
"Hmmm. I do see your point, Cher. What do you think we should do about that?" (Like that broad "I'm Giving You The Authority To Make A Good Choice Here, Kiddo" question?)
"If I taped some pages in it, I could write a story about Minnie....."
Say no more!
Shoot, I had just the thing. In my joy at hearing her utter the magic words every blogger dreams of hearing his or her offspring say ("I'll Write A Story"), I ran over to the paper stash and began rummaging around for a very specific piece of perfection. You see, just a matter of a week or so ago, a small stash of ready made, blank paged books came into my possession by way of a certain mother-in-law who was cleaning out her classroom. (Thank you, Kathleen).
With the treasure finally in my grasp, I handed it over to Caedance, who smiled brightly up at me.
"Will this do, do you think Caedance?" I asked.
"Oh yes, Mommy. I think it will be just right." An ear to ear grin split her face.
She situated herself in her chair and began to work in earnest. Page by page, we continued with the formula that had started it all: I draw.You draw. My little sprite, who has never cared for creating, sat with determination as parts of her story were brought to life with each wrist motion. When she was happy with the pictures on every page, she painstakingly wrote out the story. Line by line. Careful to form each letter and sentence correctly.
She worked all afternoon and into the evening on it, stopping only when the last bit of writing was completed. She then rushed to my side to share it with me.
And so opened a new door for us.
We read and re-read Caedance's creation all evening long; even Ashlyn spent some time reading it and marvelling at the accomplishment of her sister, the Author. This morning both girls woke up with writing on their brains. Caedance wanted to write another "Minnie Tale" to fill in the remaining pages of her book, and Ashlyn was ready to try her hand at this whole publishing thing.
An afternoon and a few broken crayons later, we have 2 lovely books by my two lovely daughters. What makes me most proud is simply their will to try and the effort they put into the entire process. It was a wonder for me to sit beside each of them as they worked through what they wanted to say and how they wanted to show it on the page and in the wording.
They worked. I sat nearby and smiled. Occasionally I acted as Collaborator, helping with plot points (such as they were) and as Editor, helping them with the words they asked me straight out how to spell. And of course, I was also the president of their fan club, oohing and ahhing over the completed works.
|From Caedance's 2nd story.|
|From Ashlyn's story|