I think my son is a writer. Not the one who is the cellist. Writing is too solitary for him and the audience is too far removed. He’s a performer. But the other son, he is a writer with a knack for non-fiction. He writes a journal every night, and he’s as obsessive as I was about mine.
He also started a blog. I loved what he wrote on his blog. I loved that I’d suggest a topic to him that’d he’d completely ignore and then surprise me with his own choice. But I have a confession: I did all the typing. Because as a very very fast typist I know the pleasures of being able to type almost as fast as I can think of the word. I wanted him to have that.
I told him I’d type for the first month or so and he’d learn to type and then he could do it himself. But me doing the typing never ended, probably because most of the learn-to-type programs were not fun, and the ones that were posing as games had to compete with video games, in his mind, so they sucked too. (His words exactly.)
Then some readers of this blog invited my kids to a multi-player game of Minecraft. At first I said no, because my kids didn’t play. But then, a small miracle happened: they tried playing a game that I told them I thought they’d like. (Usually my recommendation means they will never play it ever. My next suggestion will be unprotected sex. That’ll be great.)
Okay. So they started playing Minecraft and they found the treasure trove of YouTube videos of game play, and then they got really into the game, and then I emailed the people from this blog to say we want to play.
Daneille’s son started talking. “Type t to talk,” he wrote, when my son was not responding.
My son screamed at me that I need to type and he’ll dictate.
I said no way. I told him the other kid is two years younger than he is and he’s typing himself.
So my son just started typing. Right there. I came back an hour later and he was as fast as I had ever hoped he’d get from Type to Learn.
It was amazing to see how fast my son could type when he wanted to learn for something bigger than just typing. And it was amazing, frankly, that through this blog we could get such a fun game going, reaching across the whole world.
My son shrugged off Pakistan and Australia. “We play with kids all over the world on our DSi’s. They show you a map of everyone.”
What amazed him was that he and his gaming friend were burning down a whole forest so they could build more houses. “Look, Mom. You can even blow up the forest with TNT.”