My oldest kiddo has been writing books lately. He's done two this week so far, with the second book being a "chapter book" as well. They've got illustrations, a complete story line with a beginning-middle-end, and the characters even talk throughout the books. I think it's great. He's in first grade this year and has developed a real interest in books and stories.
He reminds me of when I was young. I wrote "books" all the time. Ok, so maybe they were just glorified stories but I did them ALL THE TIME. And drew pictures to go along with each one. I was probably his age when I started, and I remember doing them throughout elementary school, but one time really stands out to me.
My third grade teacher was Mrs. Julson. Our grade was one of the largest to come through the school at that time and so the powers that be added a third section to our grade from first through fifth grades. So Mrs. Julson wasn't one of the "normal" third grade teachers, but she got saddled with us that year. Anyway, Mrs. Julson really encouraged me to keep writing and keep up with the drawings as well. At the time, I kind of brushed it off - like, yeah, I know they're good but whatever. It's just a story. Just a picture or two. I took sort of a little-kid pride in them, but was still kind of embarrassed by them as well. You know what I mean? I kept writing throughout elementary school, eventually phasing out the ones with pictures and writing "real" books - using Sweet Valley High and the Babysitter's Club books as my inspiration. :)
Fast forward to high school. Mrs. Julson's husband (you know, Mr. Julson. ahem.) was the school superintendent. I was around the office for something and he stopped me and asked me if I still wrote stories.
I was floored. How did he even KNOW about them? And further, how did he remember them? I stammered out that I didn't really do them anymore. I walked away with a mixture of pride but disbelief. You mean teachers actually discuss students outside of school? Shut the front door. Really?
Looking back, I realize I should have kept up with them. I don't even know if my mom kept them over the years or not. I do know that I will be keeping T-Dog's though!