“What should I write about tonight?” I asked my five-year-old nephew.
“Motorcycles,” he said.
I honestly don’t have anything to say about motorcycles. Okay, that might not be true. My family watched an episode of a show called 9-1-1, and in it a character ends up getting hit by a truck while on a motorcycle, and it rips him in half. He has an emotional phone call with his son right before he dies. I don’t think that scene will ever leave my mind, so hopefully the people in my life know that I won’t be overly thrilled if they buy and ride a bike like that.
But other than that, I’m not going to actually talk about motorcycles. What I am going to talk about is how instantly Kason had an answer to my question.
I love that about kids. They know what’s going to interest them right off the bat, and they don’t worry about their suggestion not working or not being good enough. Kason didn’t stop to think about the fact I don’t know anything about motorcycles, and quite frankly he wouldn’t think that me not knowing would make it impossible to write. He just thinks it’d be cool, and if I said, “I can’t write about that”, his response would probably be, “Why not?” And what’s my legitimate answer to that? My ignorance is fixable, and other than that I’ve got nothing.
I want to have that inner child again that, when I say, “What should I write about?”, she tells me. And I want to trust the inner child enough that my grown up brain doesn’t get in the way of a possibly awesome story.
Right now I’ve got Kason on my lap. He keeps moving his head, so I have to lean over to see the screen. He’s also singing the ABCs. Every now and then he asks me what I’m doing. He’s so curious about everything, and he’s very chatty. He likes conversation and excitement. And I’m envious of him. If my inner child worked anything like he does, I’d constantly be hearing it. It’d say, as he so often does, “Hey, Ashton?”
I’m having a sleepover with Kason. We’re going to watch Christopher Robin, a perfect show for talking about childhood and not losing the fun in the adult world. I hope he likes it.
And now I know whenever I’m stuck, when I can’t think of a single thing to say, I can just ask my nephew, “What should I write about now?”
He’ll have an answer every time.