I received love letters from my smallest child recently, complete with handmade envelopes. In her love letters to me, she wrote: “You write excellent children’s books.” and “I love reading your stories.” There was even a “Don’t stop writing children’s stories!”
I have to say, I was both touched and a little bemused by the small child’s dedication to my current writings. In general I write erotic romances (for grown ups) and young adult novels that are far too old in style for someone her age to read. In fact the only two of my stories she’s read to date are Mo’o The Lonely Gecko and Freddi The Friendly Hen. These are both raucous children’s stories I’ve written that play with words in a similar fashion to Jabberwocky. Neither is published. I wrote them for fun, for her and for her little friend Bethy who told me about her favourite chicken…her name was Freddi!
So, being that she’s only heard two, completely atypical, stories from me, I’m touched by the fact that she encourages me. I’m fascinated that my being a writer is integral to her understanding of who I am and what I do. This is escpecially important to me, because I still often think of myself as a teacher. When people ask me what I do, I have to take a big, deep, bracing breath before I reply “I write.”
Further to this, I am in contact with lots of other kids of various ages, on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure they view me as the loud, funny Aunty-type who is constantly carrying a wooden spoon, force feeding them tasty treats and ensuring they get their homework done. I’m almost certain that none of them perceive me as ‘a writer’. At least, I was almost certain, until I got love letters from my daughter. Now I am beginning to reappraise.
Isn’t it amazing how our world can change, if we just stop long enough, to look at it through someone else’s eyes?