Stay-At-Home Dad: Journal reveals fertile imagination at work
BY HOWARD A. LUDWIG June 20, 2013 5:35PM
A page from Bubba Ludwig's journal where he talks about wanting to shoot his bow and arrow. | Howard A. Ludwig~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 24, 2013 6:16AM
A backpack full of broken pencils and tattered workbooks was sent home at the end of the school year.
Tucked within this mess of used school supplies was my 7-year-old son’s journal.
I vaguely remember sending Bubba to school with an empty notebook at the start of first grade. Apparently, he’d been filling out pages periodically with short notes and drawings. The topics appear to have been provided.
Spelling and grammar weren’t stressed. Some posts were illegible. Others I figured out by studying the corresponding illustrations. And in some cases, Bubba’s teacher provided notes to decipher my son’s horrendous penmanship.
Nevertheless, I found the contents of this journal insightful and delightfully random. The posts offered an unfiltered glimpse into the mind of my son. Reading Bubba’s journal sent me back to a time when I was the same age.
Here are some samples. I cleaned them up and provided a few notes to provide context. Enjoy.
“Over Labor Day weekend, I played swords.”
“My dream vacation is GameStop (a video game store).”
“I love America because of the people that are fighting the war.”
“I wish I had a pet alligator because that will aggravate girls.”
“If I were an elf, I would carry a TV and fly away with it.”
“If I were Johnny Appleseed, I would fight in the war. I would also plant apple seeds so everyone would have apples.”
“My favorite thing to do on a sunny day is to play on my block. I like doing this because it is fun. I also like to play Minecraft (a video game).”
“For my birthday, I want to go bow and arrow shooting.”
“This Thanksgiving I think you should not eat turkey. Did you know wild turkeys can fly? I think you should eat hot dogs instead. Hot dogs are good, fat and yummy.”
“Frankenstein is very scary, and he can break solid rock. He can break enemies. He eats his enemies.”
“The first thing I would do if I won the presidential election is be good to all the people of the world.”
“If I was waterproof, I would read, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.’ I would also go to an underwater school. It is fun there. I’d have ham for a snack.”
“If I were the tooth fairy I would pay one penny.”
“The best place for a gingerbread boy or girl is a house of booby traps full of lava, booby-traps and zombies.”
“I have a dream to make time machines and invent time travel. I want to be a scientist.”
“If I were a snowman at night, I would take other snowmen to a dungeon because it is fun. I would also throw snowballs at them.”
“If I had a penguin for a pet, I would name him Captain Awesome. We would play light sabers together in my house. My penguin and I would also go outside and play with our Nerf guns.”
“My New Year’s resolution is to do better at recycling.”
“If I were in a movie, I would be the Amazing Spider-Man. The sister with me would be Ava. I would beat up the Lizard. I would get paid.”
“Weekend fun! I played Minecraft and killed seven bad guys.”
“My summer bucket list:
1. Play Skylanders (a video game)
2. Go in the deep end
3. Learn to tie my shoes
4. Watch baseball
5. Go camping
6. Make a comic book with my dad”
“I wish it would rain giant pizza.”
“If I were a detective, I would solve mysteries. I would have secret weapons and attacks and fight monsters.”
The mind of a 7-year-old boy is a fascinating place to visit. It is a series of random synapses flowing through a web of cotton candy. Thanks to my son for the guided tour.
Howard A. Ludwig is a former SouthtownStar business writer who traded his reporter’s notepad for a diaper bag, becoming a stay-at-home dad.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.