In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
The Boy and The Girl decided to write stories as Christmas presents to their teachers this year.
They started on Monday at about 4:00. Other than a brief break for dinner, they kept writing until about 7:30. TB didn’t even want to stop then -- he mentioned that once he found his groove, writing was really fun.
They both made their teacher the center of the story. TG’s version made her teacher a bird, and told a story of a family of birds looking for food. TB’s version made his teacher the captain of a spaceship, with the class going from planet to planet. When they finished, they made covers and dedication pages; TB even did an “about the author.”
Their teachers loved the stories, but not nearly as much as I did. TB and TG loved the process of writing. They lost themselves in the flow of it, and took obvious glee in elaborating the plotlines. When they finished, they were justly proud of what they had done, and didn’t even notice that they hadn’t watched tv all day.
As a father, I was absolutely thrilled. They intended their gifts for their teachers, but I felt like I had received a gift, too. They’ve discovered one of my greatest loves. They’ve had the experience of losing themselves in the flow of writing, and of writing just to write. They’ve discovered a craft we can share, one in which I can actually be of some help. (I’m completely helpless when it comes to TB’s basketball or TG’s gymnastics.) And for their ages, they’re already pretty damned good at it. I can’t wait to see what they can do as they get older.
Writing really is fun. Thank you to all of my readers for giving me an excuse to keep writing. May your holidays bring you as much joy as mine already have.
I’ll take a brief break from writing for the holidays; the blog will be back on January 3. Happy holidays, everyone.