We drove hours and hours to Luray Caverns last weekend. The formations inside the cave were beautiful; it was awe-inspiring to see what a drip of water could create.
But the best part came on the way home. E shared the story he'd been writing on the drive to Luray, and what a story it is! The language he used! The phrases, his word choices.... I even asked C if E had perhaps used phrases from the Redwall series, but no. It was all E. Here's a sample:
She started to back away but slipped and fell into the grisly hands- or the things that would have been hands- of Haven's. He quickly stuffed her into a rough sack, tying it tightly. He flew off into the night with a screaming Lilly fearfully awaiting her fate.
And this one:
Coco just stood there in horror as Hellen related the turn of events.
Where did this come from? E has hardly written anything in the last 4 years, and certainly nothing beyond what he copied from the board or the two sentences a week I required in his third grade weather journal.
No writing lessons, no vocabulary tests. We read to him. We read real stories full of drama and description. We search out books we know he will love. We visit the library and put book after book on hold to nurture his love of reading the whole series... In order, of course. We answer questions. And we read to him some more.
I've probably mentioned that we couldn't read to him before almost 7 years old. He couldn't follow story lines, asked questions every other word...it was too much to take in. Then all of a sudden he couldn't get enough.
He hated writing, would do anything to get out of writing, and now this.
It isn't a slow steady progression with this kid. He appears to make no progress, perhaps even sliding backwards, and then BOOM. Twice a year or so, he gives me reason to keep moving forward. Remember the geography lesson? That was another moment like this. Moments I live for.
A friend sent me this, thinking of E the Gymnast:
But it also relates to parenting a kid like E. Or maybe any kid. Parenting is hard. Good thing we have what it takes.