Family Kitty {the ordinary moments}

The Storytellers


In all of the crazy work work work work work sleep work work work work of the last couple of weeks, when taking pretty pictures, and writing blog posts and visiting even my most favourite of favourite blogs has gone out of the window, I have been writing.  In September I got half way through a short story and all through the to the end of the year I was itching to get back to it, and one day I probably will, at least that’s what I’m telling myself.  This time, when an idea started to nestle into my brain and refuse to be ignored I just started writing.  Longhand, on paper, very pretty paper but paper all the dame, with little bits and pieces mapped out ahead so I at least have a vague idea where I’m going, but not much more than that.

Technically it’s a book, or at least it will be when I finish, but putting that there in black and white has distinct shades of over-egging the pudding.  Stephen King writes about the first draft being telling the story to yourself, and only when you get through the second draft can you even contemplate letting anyone else see it, and that’s oddly comforting.  Right now, as much as I am enjoying every word (and keep finding that I’ve sat down to write for 20 mins and it’s an hour later and I really ought to have gone to bed), I am equally certain that I have invoked every dubious cliche, every idea has already been had and it may just be the worst thing ever written, so it’s probably a good thing that I’m writing it just for me.  I’m not even going to tell you the set up, not now and possibly not ever.  But it is a lot of fun, and even though longhand is the most deeply impractical way of writing anything, it’s been nice to step away from the computer, and have a little screen free time.  When I never ever have anything published, you heard it here first!

But in a week when writing was my only creative recharge, it seems that my eldest apple has not fallen too far from the tree.  Kitty has been making little picture books for years, usually with the odd caption or two, but nothing quite resembling a full story.  But this week she upped her game and made me a story and activity book.

Space for the Butterflies - the storytellers

She started it in school as a surprise and had finished it before I got home so I got the first look at the finished article.

Space for the Butterflies - the storytellers

Her current school won’t teach formal academics until next year; she’s not learning to read or write at the moment, so everything she does is from memories of last year and input from us whenever she asks, and to see her pull that back out of the memory vault and use it, when this time last year she hated reading, hated writing, thought it all boring and pointless and couldn’t understand why she was being asked to do it, is just wonderful.  It’s in Kitty words rather than the traditional English but I would so rather that she wants to tell stories, but needs to work on the vocab, than that her spelling be perfect but she’s entirely disengaged.

Space for the Butterflies - the storytellers

To you and I it reads:

“The Lost Bear

Once in a land far away the forest was very empty. But a bear came to the forest and he found his mummy at the edge of the forest. The end”

Space for the Butterflies - the storytellers

And just in case the story isn’t enough to melt me into a puddle, she’s added “ativtes” – two sums, a butterfly maze, and a spot the difference.

Space for the Butterflies - the storytellers

I love it, I cherish it, and I’m definitely tucking it away in her memory box to pull out on her 18th birthday (after all isn’t that what parents are for).

And perhaps it comes across as being all super special snowflake; in the grand scheme of the world, and probably in comparison to some of her peers in mainstream school, this is peanuts.  And apart from the obvious caveat that my daughter is a genius (a line of facts to which we swore fealty in NCT classes regardless of anything so rigorous as a truth), I’m not claiming that either she nor I are ever going to be anything special.

This is special to me for two reasons.  The first I’ve touched on; we took a gamble at the end of the year that the change we made would be the right answer for a very unhappy Kitty, and that she has come back to writing of her own accord, without pushing or enticement, gives me comfort that the risk was worth it, and that when she learns again next year, she’s going to soar.

And the other is perhaps more selfish.  Is it greedy to want to see some aspect of the genetics of your own that you like showing up in your children?  All three of mine look like John, clearly have his sporting abilities (especially Pip), love music as much as both of us, and art and generally creativity, but wanting to make little books, that’s just a little bit of me bubbling to the surface and narcissistic or not, I’m not ashamed to say that I take pleasure in seeing that I’ve passed on to my lovely eldest daughter something that gives me so much fun.




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  • Kathryn 29/01/2017 at 7:44 am

    What a pleasure this post was to read! I loved making little books as a girl and still have a passion for writing – just not the time to indulge as I’d like, but like you I try to fit it in when I can. I hope Kitty’s interest on storytelling will continue, and that you too will get somewhere with your writing even if it’s simply something you do for you!

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 8:56 pm

      Aww thank you very much – making books as a child was so much fun wasn’t it, because there was no critical filter holding you back – I’m trying to embrace her attitude!

  • Sherry 29/01/2017 at 9:27 am

    I can’t wait for mine to start writing books and things like this, it is so adorable and reading this post melted me, it’s nice to see positive reflections of us in our children isn’t it? #TheOrdinaryMoments

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 8:57 pm

      It definitely melted me into a puddle of mush – a very proud mummy moment

  • Louise | Squished Blueberries 29/01/2017 at 1:35 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I love this. I totally agree that the creativity and the want to hear and tell stories, to share things with other people… that has to come first before the pedantics of spelling and handwriting etc. It sounds like you have made absolutely the right decision and it is paying off! Xx

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 8:58 pm

      Fingers crossed – it’s one of those decisions that we made in faith and hope that it will pay off, and it’s nice to get the occasional nudge that we’re headed in the right direction!

  • Jenny 29/01/2017 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t think it’s selfish whatsoever to see parts of us in our children it’s fascinating what gets passed on and what comes from each parent or even extended family. I see so much of my brother in my son and my sister in law in my daughter as much as myself and hubby in my two. What a lovely story book made here too. Proud mommy moment. Popping over from #ordinarymoments

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you lovely, it’s amazing how much of the rest of both families I see, but rarely me, so that was a special treat!

  • Helen Brooker 29/01/2017 at 4:23 pm

    What a wonderful post, it’s lovely when you see things you enjoy doing, being enjoyed by your own children, her story book and activities are great

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you – hopefully it bodes well for lots of fun in the future 🙂

  • Colette 29/01/2017 at 7:24 pm

    Sometimes putting pen to paper really is a joy isn’t it – that said I can type WAY faster than I can write these days!

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 9:00 pm

      I think I’m still pretty evenly matched – a side effect of the real life job is learning to write fast and accurately so you can write down what everyone’s saying in court! But the paper is so pretty and the pen is very nice so ….!

  • Laura - Dear Bear and beany 29/01/2017 at 7:33 pm

    This is a beautiful and proud moment. I think its lovely when you can see yourself in your children. Alice looks like her daddy and has a lot of her him in her. So when I see bits of me in her, it’s even more special. x #theordinarymoments

    • Carie 29/01/2017 at 9:01 pm

      Oh I’m glad it’s not just me – I often look at my three and wonder what I contributed other than the dodgy eyesight!!

  • Laura @ Little Ladies Big World 29/01/2017 at 9:03 pm

    Ah this is so amazing, really shows what can run off on them isn’t it? My Eva writes all the time and it reminds me that I love pen and paper much more than screen and keyboard too. And we’ll done on the writing too. Xx

  • Dee Smudde 30/01/2017 at 3:42 pm

    What a beautiful story! As a mother of three, the times that my son and I were able to write stories was just great! Enjoy all of these special moments. Dee at

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 31/01/2017 at 6:31 pm

    Oh this will be so lovely to look back on Carie, well done for taking photos of it. I absolutely love the little story books Mads brings home, she spends hours making little photos and stories and I remember doing the same as a child so nothing makes me happier. And so exciting about your story, what a great thing to do. I hope one day somehow I get to read it! 😉 x

  • Donna 31/01/2017 at 8:27 pm

    This is so lovely. I missed that you’d made that change for her but it was obviously the right decision. It looks like she’s flourishing and her writing is so neat! I’m impressed. You have a very talented little lady there x

  • Gemma 02/02/2017 at 1:02 pm

    This is so lovely. Izzie is at the stage of drawing and making books, and I save every one – my husband despairs of me, but the amount of effort little ones put in is immense. Lovely post #theordinarymoments