Today my six-year-old saw my manuscript open on my computer screen and said, “Whoa! That’s a lot of words. How many pages is it?”
I told him 340, and it’s a good thing I was exact. The next thing I knew, the scrolly wheel in the mouse was whirling at top speed as he went hunting for the last page.
Which took a while.
While scrolling, he asked more questions, like “what’s it called?” and “did you make any pictures?” Every now and then he stopped to read the current page number in precise soon-to-be first-grader terms: “One-hundred-and-fifty-seven.” He watched the indicator on the edge of the screen like a hawk to judge his progress. And soon the three-year-old wanted in on the action, the two of them watching that scroll bar as it if were the ball dropping in Times Square. “It’s almost there! Keep going!”
Oh, the satisfaction when they hit the last page. I keep the numbers in the top margin, so they had to backtrack just a smidge to confirm they had found it: 340.
And then I couldn’t help myself. “Can you believe I wrote all those words?”
“Wow! That’s a lot!”
I soaked it up. Apparently I’m not immune to the adoration of little children. It feels dang good when your kids are impressed by what you do. To them, it didn’t matter if I have an editor or an agent, if those 95,000 words were good or terrible. It mattered that I’d accomplished something big, something that took ten minutes to scroll through.
I like seeing things a kid’s way.