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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

They say the sincerest form of flattery is imitation.  Hmm…I’m not sure but it sure warms my heart.

Take for instance my oldest child, currently in fifth grade.  I walked into his room the other night, since he has a tendency to stay up till the wee hours of the morning reading, to remind him the witching hour was approaching.  Strangely enough, he wasn’t reading, instead he had  notebook he was bent diligently over, pencil flying across the page.  I didn’t ask because I’ve always encouraged my children to keep journals, a place where they can be completely honest with how they feel about what is happening in their lives.  (No, I’ve never promised not to snoop if I need to, parent’s prerogative!) I got him to set it aside and away to land of dreams he went.

The next day, while in the mad midst of preparing for our daily scholastic challenges, he asked if I had a flash drive.  Pausing mid-lunch packing, I blinked a few times and muttered, “I think I have one somewhere. Hang on, I’ll see if I can find it.”

Searching various locations known only to me (the great bottomless purse pit, the jungle of office desk mayhem, and the daunting dresser of doom) we found a flash-drive struggling to survive.  As I cleared out the music files (really, I just didn’t want to explain to his teacher why I sent him to school with Eminem’s album), I inquired into the driving need for a flash-drive.

“I’m working on my prologue, mom.”


“Yep, I’ve got ten chapters outlined and my teacher said I could work on it during reading time since I’ve already met my goal.”

I had to stifle a proud smile here as we were only two days into the new quarter and he’d already met his reading goal.  That’s my baby!  Then it hit me.  My son who’s 10 1/2 OUTLINED TEN CHAPTERS.  Now it was a toss up if I wanted to hug him or hide every writing utensil in the house.  Outlining for me is a seventh level of hell (slow drivers who follow the speed limit make up the eighth and talk show sob stories make the ninth!).  Besides, my outlines are like suggestible guideposts in my stories.  It’s there in case I lose my way, otherwise we just keep on trekking!

Since I’ve been a little stressed on where my current story is meandering, I resisted the very un-mom like urge to turn green with envy, and instead managed, “Wow! Ten Chapters, that’s so cool.”

I was then informed that as soon as he had it written, he’d get it published and then maybe he could be the youngest kid to get published.

Not wanting to crush such beautifully emerging dreams, I gently reminded him that he may not make the youngest published author goal, but I was very proud of the fact he had planned out a story and was putting it to paper.  The enthusiasm and joy he found in talking to me about his story, was heartwarming.  I know that sometimes I forget about the absolute love I have of creating new worlds and characters, when I get tangled up in editing and re-writes.  I have to say, it’s a humbling experience when your child can remind you why you do the thing you do.

We talked about editing and finding a publisher.  As I pulled up to school to do the tuck and roll routine, I got a great big hug and a “Thanks” for the drive and as I watched him merge into the crowd of small adults, he yelled back, “Don’t worry mom, maybe I can get my publisher to take your book! Love you!”


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