That's right, I'm a bad influence on my children. It all started out when my son was in grade one. His favorite author at the time was the great Robert Munsch and we read all his books over and over again. One day I received a call from his school teacher. She laughed as she told me that he refused to sign his name to his assignments. I asked her how she knew which one belonged to him, and she said, "Oh, his is always signed 'Robert Munsch'." This only lasted until the end of grade one, but in grade two he entered a story he wrote at school in a regional writing contest and won.
Fast forward several years - my oldest daughter wants to be a writer. She was quite disappointed after a class assignment to look up different career options and learn more about the career they wanted to pursue. She had a hard time finding out anything about being a professional author and then was disappointed to learn that there is little money in it and she would still probably have to hold another job. Still, she wants to be a writer, and who am I to tell her it's a bad idea, since I still want to be a writer.
And now my ten year old is struggling under my bad influence. Last week, she had an assignment in school to write a story. I don't think the teacher meant it to take endless hours, but for her it did. She spent so much time researching the characters she'd decided to use (they were all mythical creatures and we even had to look up the sphinx's riddle), then writing the story, then editing and rewriting it by hand.
I asked her why she didn't just write a shorter story. She rolled her eyes. "Mom, every kid in the class writes a little two page story and they are SO boring when we have to listen to them all. They have NO detail and the characters are dull," she says as she stacks her seven page story and puts it into her notebook. "I want my stories to be good like yours."
And that's what happens when you live with a bad influence.