We’ve been working for months now to find out ways that the kids can help out — during school hours — at various Mighty Writers locations in Philly, whether in reading to toddler-aged children, helping to design, print and distribute flyers, or — as they did today — transcribe workshop writing assignments to computer from handwritten copy.


This was a big job and did make use of their keyboarding skills, which are better than hunt-and-peck, even if they aren’t perfect. (Actually, I haven’t checked their stats on their keyboarding program in awhile, maybe I ought to see just how good they are.) They did a great job, and it clearly felt like real “work”  — at least the sense of pride when they finished it looked that way. Claudia, in fact, had been transcribing work written in Spanish, even though she was just doing so phonetically, it was a challenge, and she did a great job. One more look at one of the many things people do when they leave the house in the morning; and what it takes to run a writing program, even the parts you might not think about.

They got cocoa and biscotti afterwards and told the fellow at the Fante’s counter what they had been doing with their morning. I’m so glad I caught this single second of legitimate pride on Claudia’s face (which had been surrounded by seconds of hidden pride and annoyance that I should be trying to capture anything) while she ordered her post-work treat.


But what I liked even more was about an hour later, as we walked through the fancy organic grocery where we’d been given a gift card for the holidays. Claudia put her arm around my waist, and it took me a second to realize — this was my daughter — her arm was around my waist, we were shoulder to shoulder. And she said to me, “Mom, I want to take more selfies with you. I don’t have enough pictures of us together.”

There isn’t a way to express what this meant to me. Not just the fact that she felt it, but the fact that she felt she could tell me. and that she wanted to tell me. That she is that open and loving, at almost eleven. There are so many right things about that moment I can’t even count them.