The Art of Disappearing

Here’s a conversation I never thought I’d have with my son. This happened yesterday after one of Alex’s classmates brought in the Salem News article to school.

Alex: “Mom, you’re famous, right?”

Me: “No. What are you talking about?”

Alex: “ You were in the newspaper. That means you’re famous. That means I’m famous because I’m your son.”

Me: “Well, not really.”

Alex: “Our family’s famous.”

Me: “People might know who we are in town, but not beyond our town. And next week, someone else will be in the newspaper. It will be someone else’s turn to be famous.”

Alex: “We’re popular.”

Me: “Alex, the book doesn’t change anything. I still make your lunch, take you to school, read stories to you, and tuck you in at night. We don’t have any more money than we did before. I’ll have a few more opportunities to read in front of people. Maybe I’ll get to take you and Ella on a trip to one of my readings, but that’s it.”

Alex: “OK. I get it. But we’re a little famous, right?”

Me: “Maybe a little.”

I have to admit, this conversation made my day. It also reminded me of Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, “The Art of Disappearing.”


Sandy Longhorn said…
January, great story! Also, thanks so much for the Naomi Shihab Nye video. I love this poem and it's a great reminder about the value of time, given all the recent resolutions about writing and reading more in the new year.
Jessie Carty said…
i just love how proud he sounds of you at the same time! too cute :)
Heidi G said…
I've enjoyed listening to The Art of Disappearing poem. A good nudge in the arm to remind us that just being rather than always doing is a healthy option. I like this idea-a lot!

Alex and Ella are learning The Art of Being Proud of Their Mom~ hooray to that.
Kells said…
very sweet! I also love Naomi's poem "Famous" based on the #1 question she's asked by school kids, "Are you famous?"
Kells said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
January said…
Kelli, I should have included "Famous." It is one of my favorite poems by Nye.
January said…
Heidi, it's nice when they can see things from my perspective.

Thanks Jessie!

Sandy, thanks. The Nye poem is a nice reminder to artists about spending our time more deliberately.
Writer Bug said…
So cute!

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