Friday, April 15, 2011

How Much is Heredity?

by Cheri Chesley

When my twins were 6, they delved into their new-found writing ability with relish. And a little mustard. The results were little homemade books so adorable, I actually submitted them to Lisa Mangum at Deseret Book for consideration. Yeah, I know--but a mom's pride can be blinding at times. Jeffrey wrote this adorable story called "Little Sam and the Big, Mean Fish" that I just thought was the best. (can you tell my word for the day is adorable?)In it, Sam went fishing and got tormented by a big fish that tried to eat him, but, as the last line states, "Sam, he got away."

Of course, Lisa sent back this great rejection letter--she's awesome with rejection letters; I've gotten a few from her now--where she suggested I continue to encourage them in their talents, and that will go far to help them develop.

Lately, Daniel, now a 6th grader and turning 12 in a week, has been writing things in school so fantastic the teacher reads them out loud. Just before Christmas, the teacher challenged his class to write a paper to convince him not to give them any more of a certain kind of assignment. He read Daniel's essay out loud and told the class they can thank Daniel, because he's now convinced. This is the kid who wants to be a doctor when he grows up.

I find myself wondering how much of a certain talent is heredity and how much is exposure. I mean, my kids--by default--have respect and, in most cases, adoration of the written word. My oldest is dyslexic, but he has found a hero in Rick Riordan and can't get enough. My oldest daughter has barely reached a phase where she acknowledges she can read books longer than 70 pages. Fairy books are her thing, lately.

Basically, I guess I'm wondering how much of this I can reasonably take credit for? :) It happens, but it's by no means commonplace, for authors to turn out kids who are also authors. But, Daniel writes brilliant stuff, and even my beautiful, genius stepdaughter (now in college and has never lived with us longer than 4 weeks at a time) has written a novel and come to me for publishing advice.

Check out this LINK to my personal mommy blog where I share Daniel's poem that he wrote last week. I've never even thought of describing the journey of a paper airplane with such vivid enjoyment.

For the record, I always tell the kids I will support each one of their dreams--within reason. I want them to do what they love in life, provided "being a bum" and living in mom's basement is not their life's goal. :)

1 comment:

  1. You know, it's funny because my mom has always been a writer in the technical sense (she writes training programs - currently for American Express), but she never really encouraged me to write. Somehow, it found it's way into my life despite that. Although, I would say that had she encouraged me I would have been doing this a lot sooner.



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