Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Have you ever noticed how much we writers discuss what inspires us? I read post after post, as I'm sure you do. Inspiration can be found anywhere ~ while at a stop light or in the grocery store, in music and nature, or in the genuine smile of a child.
But are you an inspiration? Do you inspire others? I want to share a personal experience I recently had with my newly-turned seven-year-old son, CJ.

(Yeah, that was him this past Halloween. He was originally supposed to be a zombie, but everywhere he went people kept calling him Edward. Hah... He was like, "Ma, who's Edward?" Oh my little Cullen boy.)

The hubs and I went to CJ's parent/teacher's conference. Granted, we were LATE...Uh-hum...a week late. Yup, I completely spaced out the Wednesday we were originally scheduled. His teacher is wonderful, and let us reschedule. For the sake of this little story, let's call her Mrs. P.

When we first arrived for the conference, Mrs. P. looks at me and says, "Man, is he a reader! And wow, we have quite the little writer on our hands."

I acted a bit surprised, but not fully. He'd recently been using more paper in our house than usually, and had been asking me how to spell this word and that word. Of course, he seemed to always ask while I was writing, so I'd answer him but never inquired what he was doing.

Mrs. P. proceeded to tell us about a conversation she recently had with CJ.

Mrs. P. said, "CJ, I just found out something about your mom."

"What?" CJ asked.

"Your mom's a writer."

A bright smile broke through his blush. He said, "Yup."

"Is that why you like to write so much during class?" Mrs. P. asked.

He nodded his little head, and said, "Ah-huh, want to see?"

CJ then rushed to his cubby and pulled out his backpack. He ambled back to Mrs. P's desk with a handful of papers, which he laid out for her to see. He'd been writing little stories and lots of them. One or two sentences, but to him they were the world.

Here's a few:

Giraffes - by CJ Giraffes have long necks. They eat leaves off the trees.

The Monkey - by CJ The monkey likes bananas because they are yummy.

The Cat - by CJ The cat was licking his paws because his paws were dirty.

Seals - by CJ The seals go to get food. It takes over 3 months.

The Cows - by CJ The cow helps people survive because they produce milk.

The Fox - by CJ Where is the Fox? He is in the cave. (Illustration)

Now by reading those, you can tell he's a reader. (I typed them just how he wrote them.) I have no idea how he's such a good reader. I used to sit with my older three kids and read every night. I'm lucky to get two times a week to read with CJ, and one of those times is probably off the cereal box. 

BUT...this one did me in. Mrs. P. displayed this story on the wall of his classroom. It made me cry.
Yeah, Mom writes about werewolves.

I hadn't even noticed how my time, energy, and hard work had been noticed by my seven year old. I only new my older three kids noticed my work when it interfered with taking them to a practice or running around for project supplies - (or when I forgot to buy more school snacks - Bad Mom). 

I surely didn't realize how deeply I was influencing my youngest guy. (Yeah, I'm crying right now.)

It's all good. I am so blessed. AND a quick 'SHOUT-OUT' to my new followers!! Thank you!

Have you paid attention to how your writing might inspire others around you? Share with me, so I'm not the only sap out here. ";-D 


  1. I actually started reading my novel to my daughter as I wrote it when she was six. Then she started telling her teachers about it and I went in for a few author visits in grade school. She and a friend were a few of my beta readers in 5th grade. Sometimes she still tells her teachers I'm a writer. But sadly no, she hates writing, though she likes to read.So you're not alone. That would be awesome if one of your kids likes to write too.

  2. That is so adorable. You must be all mushy inside! :o) hehe. awesome. Well, no I don't think I've inspired any one. Not that I know of. S can't read my work because English being his second language, he won't get it. I don't have kids. My parents 'don't read'.

    Well, actually, Nicole Ducleroir once said I inspire her. Hmmm .. so I guess I've touched at least one person! :o)

  3. Aw, that is so sweet, I can see why you have a tear in your eye :) Love the werewolf story!

    I hope one day my writing inspires my daughters. My oldest (3) always wants to press my laptop keys and type out words - a good start I think ;)


  4. What a sweet story! I hope to inspire my daughter some day. My oldest...well what can I say, he's a thirteen year old boy. We all know how that goes!

  5. So cute. I'm not sure if it's inspired anyone. I hope my kids get inspired by it. Right now they just call it computer work.
    Again, so cute.

  6. That is so sweet. And I completely understand. My daughter Lily will be seven in February and she's just discovered the joys of reading and writing. She reads EVERYTHING now! Clung onto phonics like it's her last meal and she spells out things phonetically. I couldn't be more proud.

  7. That is so awesome! I love reading things kids write--they have a whole new perspective.

  8. Love this! Thank you for sharing. My little guy who happens to be seven, is always asking me to read to him. Sometimes even my own stories, but...ahem, I write for older kids. My 2 year old is always writing something. And you're right about the older kids. They shrug it off. But that's okay too. I didn't put 2 & 2 together. Thanks for this!

  9. Awww that's so sweet! My kids (6-10 yo) are getting into writing. My 8 yo wants to be an actor/director/producer, so he's creating new stories all the time (not that he usually writes them down--just story boards them). Now I'm trying to get him to READ more. He's not a big reader.

  10. That's so sweet! Both my kids have enjoyed reading and writing since they were little. In fact, I started writing for kids when my son and I entered a writing contest together. The other day when I signed with my agent, my daughter got excited and went off to start another story of her own :)

  11. Yes, sometimes it is amazing to realize the influence we have in our children's lives.

    My daughter is a budding little writer, and has written about twenty different stories over the years. She's even been published by our local newspaper!

    I guess it's in the genes!

  12. That is so cute. He obviously really adores you.

  13. This is so sweet! You make a great point. We talk and think about what inspires us, but what about the those we inspire? What a wonderful post!

  14. Absolutely! Sweet story. My daughters were directly involved with my stories as they grew up. I would write a PB, and they'd illustrate it! I still have one entire dummy of a PB they did. And they both write, on occasion. :)

  15. You are SO not the only sap - I'm crying too. And they do learn so much from us, even when we're not looking. We loom large in their little eyes. I'm so glad CJ shared his inspirations with you!

    p.s. My 12yo is working on his first novel, and I'm his editor (he appointed me). :)

  16. Awwww, just proves that our kids notice more about us than they let on! As far as who's inspired by me? Hopefully, I inspire my students.

  17. Pure awesome. Thanks so much for sharing this with us--wonderful story! I hope I inspire someone--If nothing else, should my kids see that when you have a dream, you should chase it, I'll call it a win. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  18. I'm so glad some of you are sharing who you inspire! And for those of you who don't think you have, you have. Truly - ME. Thank you.

  19. Awww, that is so precious! What a wonderful mommy moment, Sheri. My hubby and I laughed at my 6 y.o. daughter's conference because she wrote, "Mommy is ALWAYS beautiful. Daddy is USUALLY nice." LOL. :-)

  20. That's wonderful that your little boy wants to be like you. I always feel that parents who have their own activities like school, sports, clubs, associations, inspire their kids, even if that's not the original intent.

  21. That is so cute. I hope my little guys learn to love to read and write. Nicholas already knows all of his letters and some of their sounds so we're getting there. He's 26 months old. He was 'reading' to me a picture book last night. He recognizes the pictures. He said 'sit' for chair and 'drink' for cup. So precious.

  22. Aww. Your son is so sweet. It's amazing how much kids pick up on without us knowing.

    I hope one day to inspire my goddaughter. She's only two, but I think she's seem me typing. One day she stood by the laptop and clicked the keys saying "writing." She's so clever! lol.

  23. That must have been an awesome experience; to know you've sparked such a flame in a young 'un:D I can't say that I've inspired anyone that I know of.

  24. My heart just bloomed like a tulip reading your post. Lovely, Sheri!

    As you know, from my post, my 14 year old just found out she will be published for the first time this month. :) She wouldn't have ever submitted the poems if I hadn't suggested it. :)

  25. Aw, I love this!! Such a sweetheart. You're an inspiration, Mama! What an amazing feeling.

  26. And so now I'M crying too! I so so loved this post! Oh, little Edward (CJ), you will be a heart-breaker one day!

  27. That's so awesome!! I've got a seven year old boy, too, and he's an insanely avid reader. He just asked me to pick up the first book in the 39 Clues series yesterday because one of his classmates has been reading it during silent reading time. And, he saw me reading it a few months ago, so he'd decided that he's ready for it now. :)

    He's also quite the writer. He doesn't write stories, but he writes letters to his grandparents and friends, and draws pictures to go with them. Oh yeah, and right now he's writing a lot to Santa and drawing pictures for him. :)

    Kids are awesome, aren't they? :)

  28. That is so awesome! What a great little writer you have! I really love that! =)

    My daughter just started reading (a lot). I think the writing/reading I'm doing is actually starting to rub off on her. I'm so excited.

  29. Awwwwww! So sweet! I hope my kids (when I have them) will be avid readers, and I hope they think I'm cool because I write. Both my fiance and I read a lot, and we plan to read to our children every night. :)


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