A few weeks ago I took my sons to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I was not familiar with the books at all, so I had no idea what to expect. The bottom line is that the movie is adorable and the creator(s?) obviously remembered middle school all too well.
Since seeing that movie, my oldest son (8 years old) has expressed an interest in the Wimpy Kid books, so I bought him one to start out with. This interest soon morphed into an interest in keeping a journal.
“Is a diary just for girls?” he asked. Of course I promoted the idea that anyone can keep a journal (note my choice of words — journal — to help sway him away from the “just for girls” idea). I encouraged him to get a notebook and start keeping one. In fifteen minutes he was huddled in the corner, writing. He warned me against ever reading it. I promised I wouldn’t.
But then I saw the notebook lying on the counter. Curiosity got the better of me. I mean, I teach English for a living and writing is dear to my heart, so you can imagine the pride I felt knowing that my son had obviously inherited the writing gene. I even envisioned him as a famous writer or journalist years into the future, accepting writing awards and giving the credit to his mom, who encouraged him to write that one rainy Saturday.
So I opened it and read the first and only entry of my son’s new journal:
“My friend and I like to kick each other in the balls. I only regret that I don’t have better aim.”
A drawing accompanied the entry.
It was then that I realized that raising boys is like living on another planet.