It was a throwaway assignment. The teacher even told the kids that they didn’t have to complete it over winter break if they didn’t feel like it. And so that left me to decide whether I thought it was worth the hassle, the haggle, the headache of getting my kindergartener to sit down and write in his journal.
Each page the teacher sent home had a title—Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Family Time—with a cheerful drawing at the top, a space for the kids to draw, then solid and dotted lines on the rest of the page to guide upper- and lower-case letters.
Sam had just started to write by himself a few weeks earlier. I caught him sounding out words—slow and drawn-out like an old record player—as he was drawing and labeling a diagram of the Titanic.
Somehow I was always excited about or expecting reading to come first, to be the first big, thrilling achievement. Writing was sort of subsidiary, right before math.
I have no idea why I thought that.
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