It’s not only for you and your kids but your grandkids … and beyond.
It’s for others. Others you might not even yet know.
This is an excerpt from the book “Spark: How to write a book with your kids and why you should.“
Although this project is very much for you, your child, and your family, perhaps even a larger element is who it’s for that you can’t even imagine yet.
Have you ever been in line at the supermarket where there are a few people ahead of you but lots of people behind you and you just want to get home? You remember your wife really wanted some of that red pepper hummus she likes so much. But you forgot. The line is long. You don’t want to get out of it. It’s raining out. You’re tired. Home is calling. Then brilliance strikes and you ask the person behind you if he’ll hold your spot, you sprint to the deli section and get not one, but two tubs of the hummus, run back into line and all is not only well with your world, all is well with the world.
You weren’t thinking of yourself. You were thinking of her. This is like that.
But then times ten.
If you’re struggling with any aspect of the project and you think there might be a danger of not starting, or worse, not finishing, imagine the following scene in your mind.
A young girl sits alone in a large, plush chair in a living room with a view of a small lake and forest. It’s peaceful. It’s the future. From the small table next to her, she picks up the book you wrote before she was born. She examines it in her hands and looks over the binding, the image on the front, and turns it over to the back cover.
She knows it came from her great-grandmother, but she didn’t know you–only heard of you over family dinners. She did know you did something with your daughter, her grandmother, a long, long time ago and it’s in her hands.
She’s finally old enough to read it–and understand at least parts of it. But she does realize the importance of it. It’s history, it’s family, it’s a family heirloom. Her father always talks about the Chinese chest in the living room, but her mother holds this book as her most cherished memory from the stories told to her from her own mother and from you before that.
For the first time, she feels old enough to open it up herself. She opens up the first pages and reads each one carefully. She comes to the dedication and wonders how no one ever told her this. It’s dedicated to her.
You’re now doing one of two things:
- Your hand is over your heart, a tear is in your eye, and you’re whispering to yourself, “Oh dear, that’s me.”
- It sounds nice and all, but you can’t think about a creative project, the great-granddaughter sounds sweet, you’re really kinda busy at the moment, but you know your spouse is probably the type who would be doing #1 right now. (HINT: give this book to that person)
Or actually, there’s another option to what you’re thinking:
- That will never happen because I won’t create a project together with my kids.
I’m trying to walk the fine line between a veiled threat and just a plain old regular threat.
There are few things we regret doing later in our lives. More often than not, we regret what we did not do.