Here's the story I am working on to publish next week with my 3rd graders during our Personal Narrative Unit. I chose it because it is a strong memory of my dad showing me he was proud of me. I drafted many leads and picked the sound lead. I worked to stretch out the moment of seeing the sign. I worked on an ending that would have strong inner feeling.
"Beep...Beep...Beep..." The sound fills my bedroom. Reaching over, I hit the snooze button with my right hand to make it stop. I rub my eyes and notice that it is bright outside the window. Then I remember. Yesterday, I swam my fastest time ever in 50 meters butterfly and came in 1st place in the Divisional Meet. Last night I wanted to stay up to see if the coach would call to say I made All Stars. Only the twelve fastest swimmers in the whole league are invited to compete.
"Please, Mom. Can't I just stay up a little longer? The coach may call any minute," I begged with my fingers crossed.
"Absolutely not. It has been a very long day. Off to bed and I'll tell you tomorrow if he calls," she ordered.
Now I realize it is morning. Quickly, I jump out of bed and bolt to the kitchen. As soon as I enter, I see it. On the round, wooden table where we gather as a family for all our meals is a sign propped up. In the fanciest cursive handwriting I have ever seen, I see the words - Congratulations, Sally. Only my dad writes in such a fancy way. I also notice that the "y" at the end of my name extends and loops to form the shape of a fish. Seeing this clever, beautiful sign, I let out a scream of excitement!!
"What's going on?" dad asks as he enters the kitchen with a grin on his face.
Turning around I ask, "Did I really make All Stars?"
"You not only made it, the coach said you are seeded to place 3rd! You are quite the fish!" he says proudly. "Now go get changed. The coach wants you at the pool in 30 minutes for a special All Star practice."
I rush to my bedroom, change into my practice bathing suit and grab my googles and towel. Feeling well rested, I skip to the car. As dad drives me, I notice the smile on his face matches the one on mine.