This is why I love to write. It’s why I love to be a teacher. And it’s why I love to ask questions. There is so much to learn in this life! Just when I thought I knew so much about the art and craft of writing picture books, along came a woman who planted an island full of seeds where a 50 square foot plot of a garden previously grew. Thanks to Emma Dryden, editor extraordinaire, and 11 other amazing children’s authors, I believe I will have a bountiful crop this year. Characters will be fed and nourished, conflicts and resolutions will be fertilized, surprises and twists in all that I plant will be celebrated. Everything will ripen and be fermented before served onto the pages!
It’s funny. My son went to overnight camp this week for the first time. He went with tears and doubts and some fears. Would the other boys be nice to him? Would it be fun? He wouldn’t know anyone and it was scary. When I returned home after dropping him off I wished I had told him that I, too, was going to camp this week. That life is like camp. Every day we step into our life knowing what and who we knew yesterday, but never knowing what this new day will bring and how that might enrich us if we welcome that new day with an open mind and an open heart. If we give ourselves permission not only to be a little scared, but permission to enjoy our new experiences and our new day, magic can happen. When we close ourselves to learning something new, meeting new people, printing our story in a crazy font and in multiple columns just to gain a new perspective, we lose the opportunity to find out how that new thing, that new person, that crazy format might feed our soul.
Life Lesson #9: Find out! Thirst for learning, for new experiences, for new people. Actively seek new ways to see – the world, your child, a piece of writing, the slugs in your garden – and you will be a changed person.
In Phoebe Gilman’s beautiful book Joseph’s beloved blanket gets smaller and smaller and he doesn’t know what will become of it, but he knows grandfather will find a way to make something from nothing. You don’t know what you don’t know until you find out!