Tuesday, December 13, 2011

You know you might be a children's writer if...

There you are, sitting on the hard white wooden bench in your small town arena lobby. You're reading quietly, passing the time during your son's hockey practice, while two young boys you don't know toss a small ball back and forth across the lobby. Back and forth, back and forth, they chase the ball, toss it, chase it, and so on until--

The arena doors open with a clatter and a woman walks in. One of the boys calls out to her with an enthusiastic, "Hi, Bitch!" (Which sounds a bit like "hiya beetch!")


A silence in which you cringe for the boy.

"What did you say?" the woman, finding her voice, demands. She repeats her demand several times in increasingly higher volumes.

The boy wisely stays silent.

Finally the woman orders him to SIT THERE on THAT BENCH and DON'T MOVE.

He perches timidly beside you, head bent, sitting on his hands. You just want to hug him.

Do you empathize with the mother having to hear that from her child? Not really. You feel for the boy. You bet he's seen someone greet a friend that way on some TV show, or heard it uttered by an older kid, and the reaction was much different from the one he got.

Yes, if this happens you just might be a children's writer. And there might be a story there....somewhere.


Marcia said...

Reminds me of the time I said something to my dad in all innocence that did not turn out well.

Totally agree that the ability to ID with the child, not the adult, is a fine indicator of a children's writer.

Lizann Flatt said...

Love to hear that story sometime, Marcia. I'm guessing it might not be "G" rated.

Thanks for sharing!