Last summer my daughter watched a national YMCA youth gymnastics championship and decided that she wanted to be involved in a national Y sport. Her two choices were gymnastics and swimming; instead of the tumbling mats, she chose the pool. This season has been one of discovery for her. She has learned that many swimmers start on swim teams at five years old, while others start as teenagers. All are valued and respected and embraced in the YMCA’s core values, no matter their speed or form. My daughter has discovered that while she is an awesome recreational swimmer, mastering strokes and turns and entries is a lot of hard work. She has discovered that her mom needs a GPS to find YMCAs around the state. My girl has made new friends, uncovered lean muscles and learned lifelong skills. It has been a season of discovery for her.
Today between events at my daughter’s last swim meet of the season, I was reading Book Love by Penny Kittle. This book is definitely my top professional read this school year; every time I open it, I find more inspiration. This quote in particular struck me as I read, “Writing is discovery.” Kittle goes on to quote Donald Murray, “When we write, we uncover what we didn’t know we knew.” It’s so true. Even this post. I started writing just about Book Love and quickly realized all the discovery in my daughter’s swim season this year. I love writing. I love having a topic and watching it grow across a page. What I need to work on is sharing this love with my students. How can I continue to help them discover what they didn’t know they knew?
A year ago I never would have pictured myself cheering for my girl as she splashed across a small town YMCA pool. But she discovered a talent and a passion for being part of a Y team. She just had to uncover what she didn’t know she knew. Surely I can do the same in sharing my passion for writing. It has to be easier than a flip turn.