Are We There Yet?

I’m hot.

It’s 7 pm and it’s 87 degrees with not an air conditioner in sight. My kid is trying not to melt into the couch as he plays Pokémon to ignore the world around him. I know it’s too hot for him because he’s quiet.

It was a good weekend. It was my business partner (affectionately known as my “Book Wife”)’s birthday. While I was there, I had an exciting conversation with a friend I’ve recently connected with. He told me that after reading my book, he thinks he wants to write one. This is a little unexpected and a lot flattering. Especially since he’s the third person who has credited me as their inspiration to write a book.

I’m going to start putting warnings on my books. “Caution: May cause authorish urges.”

It’s awesome and inspiring and I am a little intimidated. I feel like the Queen of Spain commissioning some ships to find the New World. Of course, that bitch is responsible for some serious destruction of indigenous cultures, but that’s another blog post.

Following a dream is WAY harder than I thought it would be. I always thought that it took about an hour and a half to achieve a life’s dream. That’s what the movies have taught me, anyway. No matter how hard the struggle, no matter what bullets you have to dodge or Russians you have to defeat, you’ll win in an hour and a half. Two hours if you’re particularly epic.

I’ll tell you, it’s been years and I thought I’d be further than I am. But then the idea of having published two books when most people never publish one seems like a big deal. I’m out in a land of unfamiliar, and I don’t have a base normal to work from. My entire life is changing, and it’s so big and so fast sometimes and so slow and so tedious other times, I find myself constantly fighting for balance, which is pretty weird because anyone who knows me will assure you I’m neither patient, nor a creature of balance.

I’ve got two half stories going – a misnomer as one is a short story and one is a novel. The novel I know where I’m going, the short story not as much, so even though one is longer, one is harder to get into. Neither one are going as fast as I’m used to. I feel as though there is a time clock ticking in my head and judging me because I’m not hitting my word count.

I don’t know what else to do but write about it. Try to get the words OUT. Try to clear the decks for creativity to flow. It’s not writer’s block, it’s a blocked writer who wants nothing more to be at her desk churning word count.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, it’s time to put my son to bed.

Boy Wonder

Today is my son’s sixth birthday. Yesterday he just graduated kindergarten. He wasn’t best in his class, but you must realize that there was only one person in class younger than him, and her birthday only a week away. Also realize that he spent the first six months of the year with an undiagnosed condition, ADHD. In young children it can be difficult to tell the difference between an active child and an ADHD child, so it took a while for us to think he may need additional help.

At his graduation ceremony, I felt so proud of Toby – in the past two weeks I’ve gone to two events where Toby participated, and unlike our first forays into his stage career, he was able to be still, be quiet, and be respectful. Honestly, more than reading or writing, being respectful is a big focus for me. My parents raised me to be respectful, Luke’s parents raised him to be respectful, and Toby’s in line for the same education.

It’s important to remember that it’s not the little guy’s fault. It’s just a part of who he is. We make sure he knows that.

Toby is such an amazing kid; I don’t even know where to start. He’s smart, and very observant. You can’t get much past him. His laugh is infectious and he’s such a loving child. He knows all the kids and breezes through social situations that would have *paralyzed* me at his age. Every teacher seems to know Toby, and all of them seem to hold him with genuine affection.

It’s important to mention how great Luke is with Toby, too. Just this morning Luke ran up the stairs singing the opening to Phineas and Ferb. “There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation..” I heard them giggling while I prepared lunch for the day.

Toby’s got his struggles too, but they’re kid sized. He recently got busted for buying breakfasts at school (he’s only supposed to buy lunches). He did it so he could have the sugar cereals we won’t let him eat at home. He tried to lie his way out of it, and then was hysterical when he realized he was busted. Later, though, he was so contrite, and very sorry, and almost broke my heart with how badly he felt. Now, as a parent, I don’t care about him having cereal, or spending a buck at school in the morning. I wasn’t thrilled that they were sugar cereals because sugar spikes his ADHD, and that makes his time at school more challenging for him and his teachers. But at the end of the day, I asked him not to do it, and he chose to sneak around behind my back and do it, and that needed to be addressed. When we’re kids we all do it, we all test our parents. It is the vengeance of our parents that someday we have to say, “You can’t do that.” to a defiant small one.

Being a parent is a very personal, individual choice. It’s as large of a deal as you can make. Some things you don’t get to decide. What gender you’re born with, or what ethnic background you come from. Being a parent is something you get to choose, even if you choose it by not being careful. I would never tell another person that they should have a child. But I will happily tell you how cool my kid is, and how proud I am, and how much I’ve learned and changed since I’ve had him.  

Six years ago my son entered the world, and sneezed. He didn’t cry, but looked around at the world with enormous, gorgeous eyes and looked pink and perfect. I fell in love with him and every day I fall in love again. I’m a happy mom, enjoying a special day.