Rafe (etcet) wrote in metaquotes,

liz_lowlife has a special day in the classroom.

I had written to my children when I was off long term sick to tell them that I was thinking of them every day because I was writing a story for them.

It was a story that was meant to be about 5 000 words long but it currently stands at around 20,000 and is not even half finished!

I have quite a story inside me, it seems.

It is not a brilliant piece of literature, but it helped to keep me from spiralling into utter despair at my most poorly and gave me a world to retreat into.

Today, I finally plucked up the courage to begin reading it to my harshest critics- Class 20.
I was so nervous!
What if they didn't like it?
What if they became bored?

As it panned out, their eyes were glued on me: hanging on every word and so full of questions about the plot.
They were all fighting to say things such as, "Wow! It's really good Miss!"
"When can we hear the next bit?"
"I am writing a novel too, you know, so I can be just like you!"

And these are kids in one of the most deprived housing estates in Britain.
Many of their parents do not read or write themselves.

But my kids...my kids are different.
Because I am a writer, they want to be too.

Harry, my token Aspie kid in the class, who finds it so very difficult to engage with socially acceptable communicativeness is an amazing artist. It is how he tells me he has listened and understood.

He won't talk to me as such, but when he goes home, he draws incredibly detailed pictures of what he has learned and gives them to me shyly, eyes gazing at his shifting feet.
I know then, that he has understood.

I asked him today, if he wanted a job. It would be paid in colouring pencils to take home.
I asked him if he would illustrate my story.

"You would have to invent the most fierce dragon imaginable," I told him.
"Are you up to the task? It is a very, very responsible and important job."

For the first time since I have returned to work, he made eye contact, beamed at me and nodded vigorously.

All the other kids ran around the playground afterwards, telling their mates that Harry was going to be a famous illustrator.

This made me smile very much. :o)

It's a private class, but we're allowed to watch.
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