You never forget the first story you write that gets attention. At that moment, you fully understand the power of the written word. You know that your words can move people. And apparently, your words can also get you in trouble.
Because my first memorable writing experience was in second grade.
The teacher told us to write a story about something that happened in our family. So I took an event that really did happen, lobbying my parents for a baby sister, and turned it into a family argument. I was mad at my parents for saying no to my, as I saw it, rational and well-reasoned argument for a sister. So when my efforts failed, I decided to take my case to a higher court – the classroom.
I figured embellishing a story a bit would make it more memorable and perhaps, more persuasive. Apparently, it worked. I’ll never forget watching the teacher’s face as I read it out loud in front of the class. I’ll also never forget when she called my parents that night to ask, “Are you people fighting?”
I like to think of it as my first attempt at column writing.
So it should have come as no surprise to find that Older Boy utilized the same tools as his mother in drawing his family portrait in kindergarten.
Older Boy did get the number of family members correct. Our two dogs made an appearance. However, it appears that Older Boy thought he bore an uncanny resemblance to Bob Marley. Apparently the child was too short for all the mirrors in our house.
editorial note: I never got that baby sister or any sibling for that matter. I’m still waiting.