Kris Woll interviews Tracy Morrison, a contributing writer in This is Childhood, a book and journal about the first years of childhood:
What was your inspiration for writing this piece? Have you written other things about this age/stage?
I was inspired by my daughter’s celebration of pure joy and childhood at this age. She celebrated 7 like many children do. It’s an age that starts some big steps towards big-kid independence, but yet is still so sweet and innocent.
What is it about age 7 you liked the most? The least?
I love how the curiosity continues to bloom and grow in endless directions. Seven wants to know everything and now has the maturity to do something with it—read, write, make stories and play, create! It’s the age of doing and thinking as they come into their own.
Honestly, there’s nothing I don’t love about this age. Seven is old enough to have amazing ideas and conversations, but young enough to still sit on our laps.
What do you wish you knew before you had a 7-year-old, or what advice do you wish you could tell your former self about mothering at that particular stage?
I wish I knew how to prepare better for the endless questions and need for more. The books, the exploring, the need for knowledge. It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I have a younger child and cannot wait for her to reach 7 now, because I think I will parent better and let her explore more independently.
Besides your own piece, which other piece in the collection do you relate to the most? Why?
Ten is the big one for us right now. I have an 11-year-old, and my ‘7’ is now 9. Ten is a huge deal—more so even than those baby and toddler years. Ten is like opening a window to adulthood—from their understanding, their empathy, their maturity, and their ability to be almost not a child anymore. It’s wondrous watching our children become teens. And starting to tower over us. I have many “We made that?!” moments now.
How do writing and mothering fit together for you? How has that fit over time?
I have been blogging and writing about motherhood for more than six years now. My writing not only chronicles ages and stages, but feelings, joys and hard things for all of us. It gives me a place to share, process, and learn and I cannot imagine not having this for all of us. I think the writing gets more challenging as my kids get older because sharing is something that has to be done from a place of mutual respect. While I do write some hard things, I want to write things that my kids will be proud to read someday.
What is your advice to other mother writers?
Write. Observe. Document. Daily. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful essay or even grammatically correct. Or even online. These moments of childhood pass us by too quickly not to remember and write. I have one big regret and that is not taking more time with my grandmother before she died. She never wrote her thoughts and feelings and experiences—and now I have so many questions. We all have experiences that are important enough to leave that legacy in print.
What do you hope readers will take with them from your piece? From this collection?
I hope they find the joy in 7 because it’s such a happy time in the center of childhood. All ages have challenges and wonder—and I hope that all parents can step back and know that in reality—childhood is such a short part of our children’s lives and that we should celebrate it even more.
Read Tracy’s “This is Seven” essay in This is Childhood, a book and journal about the first years of childhood.