Tonight my eighth grade daughter asked me to look at a story she’d written for class.
What do you want me to look for? I said.
Misspelled words and anything that needs fixing, she said.
And so I did.
Afterwards, I went over my comments with her and she worked on the revision.
She accepted some of my comments and rejected others. In several places she kept phrases that seemed awkward to me but which she really liked.
This is good. This is what I tell my students all the time. Listen to comments but stay true to your creative self. It made me happy when she decided to keep a phrase I suggested she cut. She liked the way it sounded. The story is hers.
Later, my wife said it was nice listening to us talk about her story. She said my daughter sounded excited.
I said, Well, it’s the only thing I’m good at. I’m glad I could help her.
My wife said, I wouldn’t say that at all.
And then she added, slyly, You’re not that good at it.
She was kidding.