Thursday, July 22, 2010
When I published Z with Alane Mason in 2004, we were both swimming upstream, and we knew it. I was writing about the importance of free time in an era when most children had anything but—when resumes were being finessed at five, and when intra-kid competition ruled (there is only ever number one). I was writing about the aspiring writers who wrote poems with me or talked Jack London with me or dared each other to listen well to scene-inspiring music. I was writing about "wisdom over winning," about "contentment over credentials, imagination over conquest, the idiosyncratic point of view over the standard-issue one."
I was writing, it must be said, unpopularly. I was, among some, considered foolish.
Slow parenting has ebbed in since. Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have written, as recently as last week, a Newsweek cover story entitled "The Creativity Crisis." Many parents have at last taken their kids off the fast track so that the kids could leave tracks of their own.
It is six years and eight books later. It is me, perpetually ahead of or behind the times, not grabbing headlines, not riding the trend waves, watching books I have loved go remaindered. It is also, today, G, in a blue-ink letter, on black-lined paper—G from Singapore saying this: Your words have found their home.