Every Friday morning, as I'm setting up the painting easels at the back of Ellie's classroom, I listen to her teacher, as, in her warm, direct, friendly, and everything explained simply manner, she leads the daily writing lesson. Her main focus these last few weeks? Writing the small moments. Small stories, not big ones. Stories about making cookies with your sister, or riding your bike to school on a cold morning, or going out to dinner for pizza with your family, brushing your teeth before bed. She's encouraging these six year olds to keep it simple, and to add details. And, you know what? They all head back to their tables with the plastic tubs of fat red pencils in the middle and they write. And each week, as I'm washing and refilling the paint cups I think to myself, "Dude, they're like little tiny bloggers with really low tech stylus pens. If they can do it, so can I!"
And then, two hours later, jeans smeared with paint (because I'm an adult and don't have to use a paper towel if I don't want to), I bike toward home with every intention of sitting down, opening up my computer and typing my own small moment story. But, things, things get in the way. I have laundry to switch, or cupcakes to make for the class holiday party, or I realize that the last time anyone cleaned the shower was, well, it's not a time frame I want published on the Internets if that's any indication.
Or, I can't focus. And I end up wandering to the kitchen, wondering who drank all the coffee. (Spoiler alert: it was me.) Or looking desperately, searching all the way to the back of the cupboards for a box of Cheeze-Its, or potato chips, or anything processed and bad for me, and cursing the person who keeps buying FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AS SNACK FOOD! (Spoiler Alert: it's me.)
Or, worse, I sit, and can't for the life of me think of the word that sounds like, say, exchange, but, isn't exchange, it just might start with an e, or have an x in it, or like an x sound, but, it has to do with cows, or rather, it has to do with cow jokes, kind of.... Wait. Or is it clowns? Like, with, three dots under their eye, like teardrops, and Johnny Depp in Cry Baby....GLOBULAR!!! That was the word! Now, how did that relate to the episode of Veronica Mars with the confessional again...?
Plus, it's an ineffective method for...for writing with any, um... shoot, ok, the word is like the book, with the kids, like 12 of them, they had a car, they all threw out their hands to signal a turn but some were signalling left and others right, bids were taken for household chores...expediency? (What is up with these "ex" words? Oh. My. Gosh.) Cheaper by the Dozen! Um, the dad was an...EFFICIENCY-that's it! It's an ineffective writing, oh, method's not the perfect word there, more like, you know what? Method works just fine in that sentence. It's an ineffective method for writing with any efficiency.
Because, if I COULD write with any Frank Bunker Gilbreth skill, I'd... I don't know. Maybe I'd be less short tempered with my kids. Maybe I'd volunteer for more chaperone duties at Katie and Ellie's schools. The Powis Castle in front of my house would still be alive. I'd finally be able to win a game of Blockus against Katie. I'd speak Japanese. I'd know how to use spreadsheets properly to track Katie's troop's cookie sales instead of secretly having Jon do it. I'd be a faster runner! Fitter! With gloriously shiny and strong hair for full on butt* kicking.
Dude! I'd totally be a superhero!
I bet superheros have some really interesting small moment stories to write.
*Yeah. You heard me. Butt. I'll say it again, too. Butt.