Tuesday, November 15, 2005


31 Days to Go

You know how depending on your perspective, some things can be seen as a positive, or as a negative? Well, I have recently come to the conclusion that my children are either budding literary geniuses, or total scam artists. I’m not sure which.

Last week, Kellen started writing stories at home. Not homework, or school assignments, but stories out of his imagination, for fun. And quite a project it became. He got special paper with no lines, folded and stapled it so it would look like a book, entered a table of contents, chapter headings, and even had Brayden do illustrations. He slaved over the spelling and punctuation; really, I couldn’t have been prouder, watching him work so hard on his creation.

Then he sold it to me for a dollar. PLUS a quarter for the artist-fee.

His first story was entitled “Brayden and Kendrie and the Big Fight” (who only knows where he comes up with these wild, crazy, unbelievable, tall tales???) It was a very detailed narrative involving sisters who get on each other's nerves. They start out with name-calling and making faces at one another, progress to pinching and hitting, and then the story culminates in a public de-pantsing. Needless to say, Kendrie cried when he read the book aloud, so you can guess which character became pants-less. Brayden’s drawings were a bit biased, as well, as most of the time the character of Kendrie was portrayed laying on the ground, crying. All told, it was a very mean-spirited little tale.

The second story, entitled “The Big Happy Family” was much more to my liking. Peace, harmony, hand-holding; the whole nine yards. When I told Kellen how much more I liked that story, and how I felt it was a better depiction of our family, he replied “Oh, that’s not OUR family! Our family’s not like that!”

Well that’s the last dollar the little troll got out of me, that’s for sure.

I decided to try and steer this budding talent in a more positive direction, and perhaps more experience-based, so I asked both of them to write a story about a family whose youngest daughter gets cancer, and what happens to the family. (It doesn’t take much more than Psychology 101 to know I wanted to see what’s going on in those little pointed heads of theirs.) Kellen refused once I told him I wasn’t paying him another dollar, but Brayden agreed. I thought I would share her story with all of you:

“A Tough Time”

One day when Kendrie was diagnosed with cancer it was October 2003 and it was her 4th Halloween. But she was only 4 years old. So it was a tough time. And she was nervous so much. But years gone by but she does hate getting her port accessed. And my dad remembers that he was going to the hospital in Macon, saying a prayer, talking to his parents and talking to Dr. B. And my mom remembers that Grandma flying out here to take care of me and Kellen. And now she is 6 years old and she has gotten braver than she was before. And today she went to the clinic to get her port accessed. But she always cries when she gets her port accessed. And she gets to go to the treasure box but she does not want to stop going to the treasure box so she is a little disappointed. But on the other hand she is almost done on December the 15th year of 2005. And so she only got one month to go and after she is done with cancer she will get her port out. Then we will give Kendrie a party for her cancer being over but she will have to go to Dr. B for check ups.

PS. Kendrie went to lunch with Catie and she has cancer, too. And Catie is done with cancer and we are so excited for Catie to get hair because she has never gotten her hair, ever.”

So, I don’t know if it’s particularly profound or wise, but I do think she got the gist of the story, even if we do need to work quite a bit on her grammar. All told, though, I think her 8-yr old perspective is a good one.

Take care,
PS. Quote of the day:

Kellen, placing his hands over his breasts: “Mom, did you know these are your pet turtles?”

Kristie: “What are you talking about? Pet turtles? PET TURTLES??? What dorky kid at school taught you that stupid name for breasts? Just call them breasts!”

Kellen: “I didn’t say pet turtles. I said Pec-torals! We’re learning about them in gym class.

Kristie: “Oh, well. Of course you are.”

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