Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Can

Yesterday, older child and I had a conversation about trying things, and about not saying the words "I can't." He's gotten into the habit of saying these words a lot lately, and I don't think it's just him. I helped out in his classroom last week and I heard that sentiment echoed by quite a few kids. The thing I've noticed with older child is, once I can convince him to try something he actually can do it 99.9% of the time. One thing he's gotten very interested in doing lately is writing his own stories and drawing pictures to go with them (and yes, this does make me proud!). Often he'll ask me how to spell things, and I always tell him to sound it out and try to figure it out on his own first. To which I almost always get a sigh and an "I can't." And then after some of cajoling, he almost always figures out how to spell the words on his own, or close. (Yesterday he wrote a story about a starving fly. It was adorable, but here, I'm digressing . . .)

Anyway, after he said "I can't" to me a few times yesterday afternoon, I turned to him and said, "You know what? If mommy had said 'I can't' I would've never gotten my book published. A lot of people said no to me, but I kept thinking I could do it, and then I did."

He stared at me hard for a moment. "Is that really true?" he asked.


He thought about it for a moment, and then he said. "So people said no to you, and then you got to do it anyway?"

"Eventually, yes."

He thought about it again. Then he said, "That's really cool."

"Yeah," I told him. "It is."

And you know what, it is really cool. And's what's also cool is that a few years ago, when I was getting a lot of rejection for my writing and I was tempted to give it up forever, there was one thing that stopped me. Older son was a baby, but at the time, I told myself that when he got old enough to ask me what I did, I wanted to be able to tell him I was a writer, an author, published. When I had that conversation with him yesterday, I had this strange feeling that maybe this was that moment I'd been thinking of so many years ago. And that was an amazing feeling.

What's one thing you thought you couldn't do that you could? And how do you help your children get over their "I can'ts?" Don't forget, if you comment any day this week, I'll enter you to win one of my last ARCs of THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS!!

1 comment:

  1. I know I am too late to win -- just catching up on your blog now -- been busy :)

    But what I want to say is -- wow! This sounds like some sort of magic, Jillian. And what a powerful message to send to your kid. Sounds like he really got it already! :)