Stacks of lined paper covered her desk, her bed, and her floor. Spiral notebooks, pens, and pencils oozed from her bedroom and infiltrated the basement. Her stories crept up the stairs and invaded the kitchen and the family room. Little sticky notes flittered aimlessly around the room, random words covering them in a senseless order to me, yet a meaningful process of brainstorming for her. Note pads with sketches and illustrations accompanied the stories, allied forces intent on conquering the remaining, paperless rooms.
For years, Squirt has begged me to send her stories and poems in for publishing. For years, she’s been met with my blank, confused stare as I contemplated that foreign, unfamiliar process. Finally, she tired of waiting for an intelligent response from her mother and she took matters into her own hands. My imaginative, creative child spent her Spring Break in a writing and publishing class for children. The random, disorganized assortment of half-written stories and poems has been replaced with a neat folder of writing successes and an orderly stack of addressed envelopes ready to be mailed to about 20 different publishers. All I have to do is provide the stamp!
As I read through her stack of poems, I discovered my favorite. It’s about me. More accurately, it’s about Squirt’s aversion to my culinary attempts and my inability to please her taste buds. Squirt opted not to send this one to any publishers, perhaps to spare my feelings, or perhaps knowing that I would want to publish it on my blog. So, should I ever invite you over for dinner, let Squirt’s poem serve as fair warning:
Mom makes my least favorite dinner tonight.
Oh, I don’t want that pot to boil!
Mom says, “A watched pot never boils”
So, I put my watch around the pot, but it boiled anyway. :-(