I admit I don't get this request often. But having a grandchild keeps the skill alive. Don't worry, I'm not that grandparent. I don't keep secrets from my daughter. And I don't keep a secret that would harm either of them. But in my short experience as a grandmother, I've learned one of my biggest assets is being a confidante. In fact...
the biggest reason to keep a secret is to gain someone's trust.
|some of Valerie Fields' early work|
I kept writing the things she said that made me laugh. Because that's what I do. And because I really needed a laugh. One day I decided to put them into a blog, so everyone could laugh. When I told Valerie Fields my idea, she was excited.
"Great idea, Nana," were her exact words. But when I told her everyone would also know the stories were about her, she changed her tune.
"I'm sorry," she said, "I don't think that's going to work for me at all."
She would be embarrassed. I knew that. Before I ditched the idea, I posed another. "You could use a different name, " I suggested. "Maybe your pen name, Valerie Fields."
She was only four when she gave herself that name.
It was at the beginning of her book making phase. She told us book makers had 'fancier' names. So she changed hers, for the sake of her career.
"Hmmm," was her response to my idea for another name change.
"I think I need a not-so-boring name for stories. Like Pinkie Gladys Gutzman," she suggested. (Yes, that one.)
And so it began. The first week or two she gave me the name she wished to be called. Then she lost interest entirely . And went on to the business of being six- like making books and drawing pictures.
|later work on same subject|
And that is the story of how six year old book maker Valerie Fields (who, I'm proud to say, is also my granddaughter) came to write her own privacy statement.