Friday, November 7, 2014

Passing It On

Logan will turn twelve next month. So far he has accompanied my wife and me to every author-related event in my brief two-year stint as a published author. But more than that, Logan loves to create. In addition to writing stories, he comes up with new ideas for video games and movies (both of which he develops by acting them out in the living room, often in front of the television). For the past few weeks he has spent most of his spare time creating comic books.

Logan has a great capacity for understanding things. Sometimes I bounce ideas off him -- ideas for a scene, or a direction I'm considering for one of my novels. Most of the time his insight is spot on. He's into zombies and The Walking Dead, though, so there's that.

If you are a parent, I don't have to tell you what a thrill it is to see your child involving himself in artistic and/or intellectual activities, especially if he is following in your footsteps. Not a parent? I could probably expend a thousand words and you still wouldn't fully understand. Parents and children share a bond that can't be replicated outside that experience.

The best we can do is instill in our children an interest in positive things. A spark, then stand back and let them do with it what they will, encouraging them every step of the way without smothering them. It's a fine line to walk as a parent. I didn't do it alone, though. Not by a long shot. Sharon introduced him to our local library and makes it a regular part of their routine. Done correctly, parenting is a team sport.

Early on we noticed how much Logan looks like me. Not now, but in the old pictures of me at his age.

Logan and I have a long-standing tradition of "storytime" before he goes to bed. Not so much now, but we still do it from time to time. Storytime for us has never been a retelling of the old standards. Early on he let me know he doesn't care a wit about three billy goats, or a trio of bears breaking into a little boy's home and sleeping in his bed. Logan wanted originals. Stories I made up on the fly, with him lying there on my arm. Coming up with a new and different story every night, day in and day out, year after year, was a challenge, but he has a sharp memory and refused to let me tell the same one twice.

A few nights ago he asked me to read the latest scene in the comic book he is writing. Our conversation went something like this:

"I used to wonder how you came up with all those good stories," he said. "I wondered where your ideas came from. All those stories and you never told a bad one. I just realized that I'm coming up with ideas for comic books. They just come to me and it's not that hard."

I said something about being proud of him, and told him he has a huge talent. As he walked away, he stopped and turned to me and said, "I get that from you."

Yeah, it felt every bit as good as you're thinking it did.

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