It’s been an interesting way to spend my Summer Retirement Internship – Part 1: helping my granddaughter with her autobiography project for her Literature class. To tell the truth, it’s been even better with my mother visiting us.
I’ve been pulling out boxes of photos (pre-flash drive era) and sorting through them with the other two generations in the house. Goodnight had to tell me which ones she needed to go with the text she wrote and the rest of the pix were just fun to look at. They brought back memories that led to conversations that were much better than turning on the television.
The completed project is due today and after I snapped the photo below, I drove GN to school. She’s a little worse for wear this morning. She was up until 11:00 putting on the final touches.
I tried to maintain a hand-off approach to the project. I wanted to be able to see what GN’s life looks like from her perspective. She asked me to read her text and offer editing suggestions.
The most glaring thing I noticed as I read my granddaughter’s words were the exclamation marks she used in nearly every other sentence. I made a note to have a discussion with her about punctuation, but as I got further into her autobiography, I changed my mind.
She is young. She is graduating from her middle school and moving on to high school. She’s excited. Most of what she wrote about was exciting to her because she chose the highlights, which, for better or worse, really are the exclamation points to her life. “I got to go to the Super Bowl!” “I was allowed to kayak alone in a lake in Canada!” “Gram gave me ten dollars to spend at the candy store!” “Four days later, my mom was dead!”
I chose to nix my planned punctuation discussion and did not edit out those dramatic marks.
As I turned to the last page of my granddaughter’s autobiography, I wondered how she would end it. She did it with grace beyond her years:
I have lived . . . and will live most of my life without my mother. It isn’t how life should normally go, but growing up ‘not normal’ is my normal and if that’s how it has to be, then like my great-grandmother always says, “So be it.”
So be it.~