Thursday, May 29, 2008

Imaginary life

I had my last volunteer day in Sophie's 2nd grade classroom this morning. I've had the privelege of working with the kids 1 on 1 and in small groups in Writers' Workshop. I'll miss it. I got all teary as I was meeting with the teacher before we started. 1st grade is all about learning to read, 2nd grade is learning to write. They've been creating their own fairy tales and are now laying them out as a book with illustrations, cover, etc. The process has been what's so exciting, getting them to think and imagine, so that whatever comes out on the page this time, they'll have a place to go back to to imagine again. At least that's my goal. It's a new trick, and one that some of the kids haven't gotten yet. But imagine learning to find the place inside yourself that is imagination and that can create. It's a real, real place, and I can only hope that they all find and inhabit it throughout their lives.

3rd grade is all about reinforcing and developing reading and writing skills. 3rd grade is the year I distinctly remember waking up to find myself a sentient being, not a little kid any longer. As I became aware, I also became shy, which was an unfortunate side effect. But a whole creative process was unleashed that's been going on ever since.

I wonder what next year will bring for my daughter, who hugs me some days, and other days proclaims she is dedicating her life to evil. She was born on 6-6, so what am I to make of that? She likes the villains of stories. She finds the elixir of life in them.

It does not faze me. I knew what I was getting into with this one. Even though I can't believe I just wrote that. As overwhelmed as I sometimes get with raising kids, apparently some part really did know. This child is my child, whoever she may become.

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