Wednesday, October 19, 2011

National Day on Writing

Tomorrow I will be celebrating the National Day on Writing with my students. In preparation I wrote a response to the "Why I Write" prompt offered by NWP (National Writing Project). This is the latest in a long line of short pieces I have written on this topic. Sometimes, even with things we love, we have to remind ourselves why.

Why I Write Today

I am a writer because whenever something significant happens and whenever it doesn't, I itch to put it into words.

When I walk outside in the morning, I want to describe how the fingertips of air touch my skin. When I drive to work, I want to list all of the adjectives I can that describe the sound of my car -- the whir, the grumble, the sigh, the buzz of tires on asphalt.

When I talk with someone, I imagine the words being typed across a screen or written in a notebook. I imagine what that conversation would look like in the pages of a paperback, black type on rough vanilla pages.

I see my words popping up in speech bubbles, filling all the empty space between me and you.

I write because I am breathing, because I am living, because I am loving you and this is how we kiss.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What My Son Said

Wednesday evenings have become my most peaceful of the week. The rest of the family goes to church while I take Nicholas to football practice. For an hour and a half, I don't have to speak to anyone, keep an eye on anyone, feed anyone or take anyone to the potty. I love my job and love my family, and goodness knows I love talking, but that brief respite each week has been a blessing.

And then, I get some time with Nicholas. My middle son, he tends to be the quietest of the three, the least aggressive, the most compliant. On Wednesdays, we get time together uninterrupted by his more demanding brothers (who I love like crazy, too, of course!).

After a dinner at Subway (a shared footlong and a chocolate chip cookie) --which earned me a "You're the best mom in the world!"--we had this conversation as we drove home:
(Passing the pumpkin patch)
Nicholas: Look at all the lights. They are so pretty.
Me: They are! Maybe someday when you get married, you can have a reception with lots of white lights like those.
Nicholas: Yes, and maybe after I get married my wife and I can go to the pumpkin patch.
Me: Then you will have to get married in October.
Nicholas: On Halloween!
Me: Well, whenever you get married, the girl you choose will be so lucky.
Nicholas: I want to marry a pretty girl.
Me: Pretty is fine, but it us more important that you find a girl who is kind.
Nicholas: Boys like pretty girls, not ugly ones.
Me(starting to get a little testy): But kind is the best thing for a girl to be; pretty isn't that important.
Nicholas: Well, you are pretty and Dad married you, so I think I will find a pretty girl, too.
Me (a little less testy): Aww, you are sweet!
Nicholas: Yep, Mom, boys like pretty girls, not ugly ones and girls don't like nerdy boys. Sometimes they like boys who are popular if they only do a few nerdy things.
Me: Like what?
Nicholas: You know, like play the banjo.

I love Wednesday night.