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.
Haven’t been updating for a few days because Grace and I are traveling. We are dropping in for a quick visit to Virginia and hauling my dad back to New Hampshire for a longer visit. Today, we went to absorb history at Mt. Vernon (I’ll write about this more tonight). It’s a beautiful place. I snapped this picture after touring the mansion.
…of sixth grade. You know how on old tape decks (kids, tape decks were the stop-gap technology that carried us music lovers over between vinyl and CDs…I’ll devote another post soon to explaining vinyl records. And maybe CDs, but I digress…) you could hold down the fast-forward and play buttons at the same time and the music would become a blur of squeaky sounds that carried only the slightest echo of the song’s normal speed? That’s how I feel this morning. Grace just set off for her last day of sixth grade and I swear it was only moments ago that she started sixth grade. And only moments before that, she was born. I’d like to ask whomever is in charge of the cosmic tape deck to stop goofin’ around and take your finger off fast-forward. I’d like to listen to the song at normal speed. What’s that you say? This is normal speed? Shoot.
Isn’t she beautiful? Can we run the next few months in slo-motion, please?