To the t-ball champ/skateboard enthusiast, my sedentary existence held less appeal than bathing or clipping his nails.
"Don't you get tired of writing?" he asked. "That's all you ever want to do?"
"Don't you get tired of playing?" I shot back. "That's all you ever want to do."
"But Gramma, playing's fun. Writing's like school." He looked at the clipboard on my lap, scowled at the binder on the table beside me, and then sighed as though he had seen an IV pole and respirator attached to me.
I held but school's fun under my breath. He did well in Kindergarten, made good grades, and was already reading chapter books. Still, I wouldn't force Noah to do something as uncool as consider the possibility that school might be fun.
Miraculously, a few suffer-able quiet activities came to mind. "I enjoy writing the same way you like to play video games or watch movies."
His eyes, reflecting only Band-Aid level pity now, rested on my sheet of college-ruled filler paper.
"How can you write books on that paper?"
Good question and one I had never considered he might ask. He wouldn't know how my words ended up in those books on the shelf, so I explained. "I write a chapter on paper first, then type it into the computer, print the pages, and put them in this binder. I keep doing that until I have enough chapters to make a book."
"As many as I want." I knew this wasn't going to be easy when he pulled his top lip between his teeth and rolled his eyes upward. "I write until I get to the end of the story."
He opened the binder, karate chopped the margins on the top page, and nodded. "Then you just cut these and stick them inside books?"
"I don't. Someone else does that part."
"Who? How do they get your pages?"
I saw where this was headed. Rather than answer fifty questions about the editor, the publisher, who would draw the pictures, and how would they get in stores, only to circle back to don't you get tired of writing again, I thought I'd let him answer his own question.
"How would you like it if one day you could make everyone do what you wanted them to do? What if you could make me ride the skateboard, or make your dad wear a dress?"
He laughed. "Hey, that would be funny."
"That's why I think writing is fun. When I write a story, I get to create all the people, name them anything I want, and make them do whatever I want them to do. I'm just a grown-up with a bunch of imaginary friends that I keep in books."
The teeth tugged on the lip a few more times while he thought it over. "I wanna do it."
I found him a notebook, gave him a pen, and turned him loose to create his own little world where he could control everyone. He didn't make me ride the skateboard or put his dad in a dress, but he did find out writing is fun.
He didn't get far but he enjoyed thinking about it and starting.