My second son will be eleven next month. We call him (with great affection) the absent minded professor. The world just isn't big enough to contain Caleb. Often, he's deeply involved in thoughts that have nothing to do with whatever might be going on in his physical world. Thus, my sweet Caleb is always the last to walk out the door when we're going somewhere, the last to realize I'm handing out snacks, the last to involve himself in conversations (quite often he'll pipe in with his opinion five minutes after the conversation is over!). He often trips, bumps his head, walks into things that most people would see and avoid. In essence, Caleb is me when I was a kid. Daydreamer. Story maker. Thinker.
A few weeks ago, our church had children's week. All the kids participated in the service. As children's choir leader, I helped organize the children, giving as many as possible jobs. We had several children play instruments. Some read scripture. Others were ushers. Caleb read a poem he'd written for a visit to an assisted living facility. Afterwards, the pastor told Caleb that he wanted to publish his poem in our church newsletter. Sure enough, a few weeks later, we received the newsletter with Caleb's poem printed inside. When I showed my son, he took the newsletter from my hand, a half-smile playing across his face as he read. Then he looked up, his big blue eyes behind those thick-lensed absent-minded professor glasses filled with awe, and said - "My first publication. I'm a real author now."
My heart soared and broke simultaneously. My son the writer. It's in his blood like it's in mine. The passion for stories. The determination. The near obsession with the written word. A hard path to travel. A joyful one. But one that must be accepted for whatever God will make it to be. The further along the path I wander, the more I know how little of the journey is in my hands. I write. God moves...bringing my words where He will.
Maybe I can teach my son that as he grows. Maybe it's just something that has to be learned by experience. One way or another, I know Caleb's path as a writer will be as rocky and wonderful as mine.