One of the most anticipated events of the year in first grade at Smunch's school is the Author's Breakfast. See, prior to this day, the kids work really hard to write a few stories. They outline, they write, they edit. When the story is approved by the teacher, it goes "to the publisher"...which is a really exciting way of saying that the teacher gives it to one of the moms to type up. Then it comes back from the publisher and needs to be illustrated and have a cover designed before the whole thing is bound.
Smunch wrote three "books". His first was called "How Martin Luther King, Jr. Changed America". Kinda serious stuff, that. He chose the topic himself. Huh. The second was called "Me and the Rocket Ship" (no accounting for grammar there) and the final story, which he chose to read during the Author's breakfast, was "The Little Boy and the Baseball Player".It was a short story, with an emphasis on short. But this was the first time he'd been asked to get up in front of an audience and read. It may not be that big a deal for a lot of kids, but for kids who stutter, it can be absolute torture. He did a great job! He started off nice and slowly, reading very clearly. Like most people who are a little nervous, he kind of rushed towards the end, but the stuttering was barely noticeable. We were such proud parents. The kids have to write a dedication page for each of their books. Smunch dedicated his book to his grandpa because he had helped coach his baseball team. So sweet. And my dad was even there to be appreciative. I was a little surprised that he came, so I was thrilled when he got sole billing in the dedication.
Smunch's time in the spotlight was short and he was first, we we still had to sit through the remaining 17 students' books. Turns out, the dedication surprises weren't over. It wasn't shocking to hear the girls dedicating their stories to all their friends "because they believe in fairies too" or whatever. And it wasn't unusual for a couple of kids to dedicate stories to their teacher or to to their siblings. But the boys generally didn't mention their friends. Only two of them did, including this one:and a second one from one of the more "popular" kids in class that said "This book is dedicated to my friend Gavin because he is nice to me." Geez. Who knew?
As much as I was proud of Smunch's reading job, I was thrilled to find out how well-liked he is. There are so, so many things about his personality that are really encouraging. Having seen how stuttering can make kids too scared to speak or turn them into social outcasts, I'm relieved and excited to see that he doesn't seem to be heading in that direction.
He may not be an angel at home, but apparently, we've actually managed to produce a nice kid!