my parents always encouraged me to be creative and to create. my mother would tape down a strip of wax paper on the breakfast bar, set out some markers and crayons, and leave me to dream up pictures and words to fill the blankness in front of me. other days, i would ask to have stories read to me repeatedly. i would memorize the story and when to turn the page to trick people into thinking i could read the words myself. 

when i was finally able to draw and read well, the next logical step was writing and illustrating my own stories. most were basically rip offs of well-known tales, like the frog prince or singing mermaids. sometimes though, creative genius would descend into my 6 year old mind and direct my hands to dictate plot-driven tales of unexpected turns and riveting emotion.

for example: 

the previously unpublished handwritten and illustrated “the story of charisse the spider.” (note: author’s erasures indicate that charisse was a “mudpie” in earlier drafts.)

illustrations ended.

the last page is a colored illustration, possibly inspired by a book’s dust jacket observed in childhood.

aside from the blatant grammatical errors from lack of a formal education (in the year 1991), the story is clear, concise, and ends as happily as circumstances allowed.

i don’t question that i was a special child. but i do wonder how my adulthood was decided based on my early preclusions to imagine such drama and palliative resolutions in print form. perhaps if i had feigned interest in watching rubber balls ricochet off my bedroom’s plaster walls, i would have discovered different ways to express my inner thoughts that were more conducive to socially-acceptable adult interactions: such as indoor soccer or running teams — and not blogging from a mobile phone on a saturday afternoon.

in any case, i have arrived at this self, however calculated and calculating. how have you augmented your childhood preferences in your adult proclivities today?