I know that some day my five-year-old son Ax will write. Just like I knew he would learn to walk, use the potty, and dress himself. Still, some days I look at his preschool colleagues with their upper and lower case swagger, their confident sounding-out bravado, and then him, stacking blocks and knocking them down in the corner while squealing with delight, and I wonder if perhaps I should be doing something different. Something more.
Kindergarten is coming and Ax still holds a pencil in a fist by default. One of the “kindergarten-readiness” signs is an ability to write one’s own name. He does that proudly beside his friends Isabella, Jackson, Germaine, and Pomegranate. Fist-holding that pencil, he announces, “A-X,” as he makes five wobbly lines to get the job done. I tell him how proud I am of him in some attempt to inoculate him against the harrowing self-doubt, self-loathing, and general insecurity that plagues me.
He will learn to write. I will learn to feel good about myself and my choices. We are both growing up.