My son Andrew presented me with the first paragraph of a story yesterday. I read it and realized he'd managed to do something that most writers never seem to fully grasp. He set the hook within three lines. I've always pictured him as a writer. He's extremely creative and sees things the way few do. I'm sure, while I'm still struggling with some low end publisher and barely selling enough to cover the advance, my son will be on the bestseller list at age 23. He'll be on the Today show, wearing something black and cool, looking bored to be there.
The latest blond anchor will ask him, "Did you always want to be a writer?"
Andrew will say, "Naah. I wanted to fly jets or go to Mars or something like that. The writing gig looked a lot easier."
"Is there anyone you'd like to thank for your success?" Blondie does the little hair flip and giggles.
His eyes will glisten and he'll choke up a bit. "My mom."
Isn't that the way it always goes? I know, Bill Cosby said it first. But it should probably be in the Bible somewhere, anyway.
We all have these little fantasies for our kids, don't we? We know darn well they'll make a lot of the same mistakes we did. We just hope we handle it better than our parents did. So far I think he's a much better kid than I am a father. My daughter, Sydney, doesn't even answer my calls anymore. And she's only 12.
I think the most important aspect of this little writing goal I've set for myself is to show my kids that it's good to dream. You don't have to settle for what life hands you. And when you dream, dream big. Going for it can never be a failure. Hiding from the possibility of failure is the only true tragedy.