Third Grade Ambition

faithFive years. Longer really, if you consider my childhood dreams dwelling in the worlds of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables. But five years since it’s been a real grown-up dream, a grown-up declaration, a deep-inside knowing of what I needed, wanted, hoped, planned to do.

I suppose five years and three months would be more exact, but after five years of halting starts and long periods of standstill, of thinking much but accomplishing little, what does it really matter to count the [continuing to pile on] procrastinated months? Five years is too long to wait, to waste, to whittle away…it’s time to write.

*****

I remember the thrill of putting a cover on my “first book” [never mind that binding my own book in this case meant nothing more than some heavy duty card stock with stiff wallpaper glued over it] and proudly taking it to represent my school at Young Authors. I was brimming with third grade ambition.

10,000 sleeps later [though it’s debatable how much actual sleep has occurred over the years] I have a girl of my own in third grade, a shining nine year old.

Today, in her you’re-not-going-to-believe-this tone of voice, she said, “Mom, I’m going to have a book published. Like for real, my own actual book, published. With a cover and everything.” She dropped each word and phrase into the car’s open space between her seat and mine, with significance and weight, daring me to doubt or discount their truth.

I can hear the third grade ambition, independent and strong. I grin, remembering the feeling. “I believe you. That’s exciting! I’m proud of you,” I say back to her as we drive home from school.

Many people tell her, and tell me, that she looks just like me. But she’s like me in so many ways beyond what your eyes can see glancing at our faces side by side. And it’s those inner parts of our souls that make us so tightly bonded – and also why we knock heads at times.

I am a good mom. I am blessedly assured of this with much grace and love. And, I fail her sometimes. Of this too, I am painfully aware.

More than the criticisms, the corrections, the commands that have been too common as of late, she needs my commitment and my confidence: “I believe in you. I believe you can do it. Whatever it is. I believe in you. And I’m here for you.”

*****

My daughter’s eagerness and joy in creating her book is contagious. Third grade ambition is contagious.

As I look at my daughter, the budding writer, the girl whose eyes and hair and smile as well as compassionate heart and “do it my own way, in my own time” style so much reflect my own, I remember the writer that is within me.

A third grade writer who proudly brought her wall-paper covered book to Young Authors.

A fifth grade writer who handed page after page of scribbled stories to her aunt at the typewriter.

A middle-school writer who journaled jumbled thoughts and feelings about friendship and family.

A teenaged writer who penned poetry of pain and hope, faith and despair.

A writer of endless college and seminary papers, a writer of sermons, a writer of life’s everyday experiences.

I remember. She is a good writer. And, I fail her sometimes. More than the criticisms, the corrections, the commands that have been too common, she, like my daughter, needs my commitment and my confidence: “I believe in you. I believe you can do it. Whatever it is. I believe in you. And I’m here for you.”

So, here I am. And here it is.

*****

[My first public blog post…I wrote the beginnings of this post on February 13, 2013, but it took me until May 1, 2013 to get up the courage to post it in full! Thanks for reading.]

 

14 thoughts on “Third Grade Ambition

    1. Andrea Post author

      Thank you my dearest! You listen and you cheer me on and you challenge me and you laugh with me and you get me. Thanks for all that, for being you, and for inspiring me to write. I love you sister.

  1. Char

    Worked my way to you through Anne Lamott’s post …. Read this and felt kinship because I also used blogging as a way to get jump started … Call mine a Month of Somedays because I am trying to tackle them. If you scroll to the first, you may find some mutual ground… Best to you in your writing… Never too late! Don’t you love that seeing ourselves in a new way through our children is so inspiring?

    1. Andrea Post author

      Char,
      Thank you for taking the time to read, I am blessed and grateful! I went over to your blog, and love the concept of starting each post “Someday…”
      I was immediately drawn in by your description on your “about me” page and look forward to reading more.
      Blessings, Andrea

  2. Chris Schouten

    Andrea,
    Now that you’ve started, please don’t stop! You have a wonderful gift. I enjoyed this very much! God bless!!

    1. Andrea Post author

      Thanks Chris, I am encouraged by your words.
      I plan to write more about this, but I wanted you and Luke to know that reading your Wave of Grace update yesterday is part of what unraveled my “block” that had kept me from posting publicly.
      A grief that I didn’t know was still there suddenly bubbled up with tears spilling over. I’m getting emotional again now just thinking about it! I knew I had to finish that post from February before I could write about my feelings from yesterday. My heart is with you!
      Grace and peace to you, Andrea

  3. Armand

    I wrote a long, glowing, metaphor filled recommendation in Google+ then pushed a wrong button and lost it. Now, I don’t remember what it said. But, I know it was good because I think you’re the greatest, and I’m so glad you’re going to share from the heart. Your words have blessed me and the world around me every time I’ve heard you speak. I look forward to your blog. I tried to sign up but I’m not sure if I lost that, too or not. Anyway may God bless you and guide you on this new part of Your Journey!

    1. Andrea Post author

      I receive the blessing!

      I’m sure that metaphor somehow someway had to do with roots and shoots because you’ve watched me (and helped me!) grow so much. That will be your guest blog post topic!

      You have been instrumental these past few months in challenging and inspiring me to take my stories to the next level and share them “with the world” – thanks for believing in me.

  4. Alysa

    I might be singing ‘Journey’ right now…except I’m replacing the word ‘believing’ with ‘writing’.

    “DON’T STOP WRITING….”

    Love it Andrea.

    1. Andrea Post author

      I am secretly giggling at the thought of you throwing back your head and belting that out, just for the sweet sake of my encouragement. You’re so fun.

  5. Joanne Meyering

    Dearest Andrea, So happy to see you reaching out, grabbing on to this dream and making it a reality. May God Bless, Mom.

    1. Andrea Post author

      Thank you Mom! I love you. You’ve always supported me in every endeavor, through the disappointments and the thrills, and I am blessed beyond any words I will ever be able to express but I sure hope to try. So many stories to tell of how faith, hope, and love always remain.

  6. Sally Dykhis

    You’re such an inspiring person, Andrea. I’m so glad to see you working on your dream and sharing it with others. Inspiring me…

    1. Andrea Post author

      Thank you Sally for your encouragement. I’m finally back at writing today, after a full month off. I am blessed by your words, and was just reflecting earlier this morning on all the friends from our Fremont years who have touched my life and shaped me. I am grateful.

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