“Mom, I need to read something to you,” my youngest son stated as he walked into the room sporting his laptop. He began to read an email from the The America Library of Poetry regarding a piece submitted well over a year ago as a requirement for an English class. Apparently it was scheduled for publication in 2017, but it was overlooked for some reason according to the editor and they would like to publish it in an upcoming collection slated for this fall. Let me describe the visual I had of his face. It was a look of complete surprise blended with a heavy dose of “that poem sucked, why are they publishing it?”. I, on the other hand, was giddy from pride layered with the “I knew there was a writer in there even with all of the grumbling you did.”.
This is the child I fought with during every writing project he had. The one, who on the Disney cruise argued with me over the spelling of “receive”. He swore that the “i” was before the “e”. This is the child who doesn’t see himself as a writer. I watched his face glaze over in confusion and the words coming out of his mouth were reminiscent of everything I have said to myself when I get affirmation on my composition skills…..”my writing isn’t good enough to be published.”. Writing makes one overly self critical, vulnerable, with a splash of insecurity.
Let me also add that writing poetry is HARD. I hated writing poems. There is a skill level to that genre and I am willing to admit that I don’t have it. But, there is another component to this moment of success……his English teacher. This gentleman not only encouraged his students to write with endless assignments, but he inspired Bryce to step out of his comfort zone by participating in theater. This educator made an impact on my son.
There are so many layers to one’s own self-discovery, but sometimes it takes a person on the outside to see our own potential. We can be blind to the talent within, so a fresh pair of eyes is a useful tool. Now, I am not saying that Bryce will be a writer like me, but I do see a glimmer of willingness of at least admitting that he has had the gift all along.