My writing journey began before the dawn of my consciousness. I’m convinced of this, because I’ve been told I was always reading, always had a book in my hand. I remember creating stories as early as the first grade. My brother told me he has memories of me sitting in our bedroom and writing.
It’s easy for dreamy, overly imaginative kids – like I was – to float through life with no sense of reality. That’s where my mother enters the story. She always, always accepted the idea that I liked words, writing, music, creativity, the arts. But she made sure that wasn’t the only thing in my life. Growing up in a household of a mom and dad and seven brothers and sisters, sometimes it’s easy to stand beside the chaos and go off on your own. My mom was always there to reel me back. It’s the everyday stuff of raising a child, sure, but the one thing she never did was squash my dreams. She just made sure my feet were on the ground and I was going in the right direction.
I was always itching to go out into the world. My youth was spent away from the house – playing, biking, then when I was a little older, hiking, then a little older, camping. Then I left home to work at a summer camp. Mothers see what their child is like and sense what their child will become. I’m sure my mother saw the restlessness inside me and saw that my life outdoors kept me grounded.
I think she saw my love of reading and writing in the same way. I didn’t fully realize this until I was much older, in the Navy, home on leave, and I was with my mother somewhere, and she introduced my as ‘an aspiring writer.’ It surprised me. I don’t ever recall really talking to her about it. Maybe it was too obvious for words.
But the truth is, she got it before I ever did. And for that I salute her.