Saturday Morning

It’s as reliable as the rise and set of the sun.  Monday through Friday, getting our son out of bed for school is fraught with as much drama as an episode of “The Hills.”  I slog my way into his pre-dawn room, trip over an errant action figure or race car, kneel down by his bedside, and let my eyes adjust.

He’s beautiful when he sleeps,  I don’t mind saying, and when my eyes are sludge-free and I can stare at him at will, it’s not uncommon for me to swell up with tearful love for the kid.

Then I glance at the clock and there it is- the cold hard crack back to reality, and it’s time to yank the little cherub out of his rest and plunge him into the morning.

The drama usually begins like this:

Me:  Good morning sweet boy.  Time to wake up.  [*gentle smooch on cheek*]

K:  {thrashes from one side to the other, swinging an arm and smacking me in head/face/neck or upper torso} Mom.  NO.  I’m sleeping.

Me:  {rubbing the injured body part}  I know honey.  It’s time to wake up.  School day.{reaches over and turns on bedside lamp}

K:  {hoisting blankets over his head} Mom!  Stop it!  I’m SLEEPING.

I should point out that  this is where the direction of the dialogue goes one of two ways, one of them far more appealing to me than the other.  He either dives headfirst into frustration and angst and temporarily becomes a junior Rumplestiltskin, and I drag him step by step through breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, loading into the car, shuffling to class.  (hint – not my favorite)

Or, he shakes off the early daze and becomes my absolute favorite, Happy Morning Boy, and he wants to play ninja battle force or – my personal favorite – racing tag – all the way to school.  All this before 7 a.m., and usually all this before I’ve had a single sip of coffee.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.  Five times.  Enter Friday night.  I say a fervent prayer, knowing that my dearest husband will very likely let me catch up on my zz’s in the morning and get up with K  whatever the crazy hour it is.  But I say my earnest prayer anyway, because I hold fast to a fantasy of a lazy Saturday morning, sunlight streaming in the windows, birds chirping, and a gradual easing into the day.  Sort of like a zero-entry swimming pool.  Dear, dear, gracious and kind Lord.  Please let our little angel sleep in tomorrow.  Let him rest.  He’s still growing.  I’m not asking for noon, just maybe 7:30.  Let me know.

It’s Saturday morning.  Or at least, I think it is.  It’s pitch black.   Could be Friday night.  A tiny hand clutches my shoulder in the dark, and I have to take a deep breath to keep from snarling.

K::  Mom?

Me:  (breathing in…) Yes dear?

K:  I had a bad dream.

Me: You did?

K:  (tearfully) Yeah.  Can I cuddle with you?

And there in the dark, with his warm little body molded to my side, I think about what kind of dream might have driven him here.  I wonder what monsters my mommy-arms keep at bay.

I  realize that someday in the not so distant future, I will have plenty of lazy Saturday mornings.  There will be far more time than I probably want to listen to chirpy birds.  I can comfort my boy now, but all too soon there will be tears shed that try as I might, I won’t be  able to dry.

So I cuddle him close, listen to the day begin, and just hold on.

Please enjoy

it's been a rough couple of weeks.
it’s been a rough couple of weeks.

 

Struggling a bit this week – everyone in my house is sick and there’s some kind of thick fog in my head that makes me think I’m next.

I’ve written some new stuff. Yay. And I’m on track to get my MS out to a new beta reader in a week or so.

That’s pretty much it.  So please enjoy this picture of an orange.  Because after typing all this I need to go take a nap.

 

Progress, not perfection

Cocoa. Marshmallows. Choco-whip.
Cocoa. Marshmallows. Choco-whip.

Early in our marriage, my sweet hubs pointed out what I like to think of as humanity, but he calls a “charming quirk.” We’d eaten out, which we didn’t do often in those days (or these), and he noticed that as I talked, I cut my food into bite sized pieces, then selected a few pieces to eat. I did it without thinking about it. He said it reminded him of the “When Harry Met Sally” movie – Sally always had to create the perfect bite.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like and the way you like it. But writing, for me anyway, doesn’t take well to that kind of process. When I write, sometimes I get stuck in that “perfect bite” mode. I self-edit to the point of paralysis.  Some days I spend more time thinking of the word choice and possible implications of said choice than I do just letting the ideas pile onto the page.  I don’t know why it happens, and it’s agonizing.

This week has been one of those weeks where I’ve been beating myself up over my staggering lack of perfection. And what do you know, the ol’ creativity faucet has clogged.  Nothing but ick. Quelle surprise. Today I finally FINALLY eked out a few dribbling words on a new MS and it. felt. amazing. The words flowed just enough to remind me that they’re still in there, if only I’d dial down the self-criticism long enough to let them out.

So tomorrow I’ll sit down to write again and I will tell myself that it’s okay. That the page I’m staring at is a welcoming page, an inclusive place where all syllables, consonants and vowels are treated kindly as we build this little world together. Yes, later we will slice everything into pieces and select a few choice morsels to save. But today what’s more important is to keep moving, imagining, slinging ideas out and sprinkling them with whatever comes to mind.

There’s a Book for That

I’ve never been a shoe person.  All my life, I’ve needed just handful of shoes to feel comfortable in any occasion. Need to dress up?  Black pumps.   Exercise?  Sneakers.  Is it summer?  Flip flops.  Winter?  Furry boots.  Have a class?  Plain white flats.  All purpose. No muss, no fuss.

Give me a Scholastic book order form, or a library card, and I’ll show you a smorgasbord of possibilities.  Here’s my latest favorites organized by mood, snackfood and/or weather.

“What is the world coming to? Give me hope, please.”   THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN – Katherine Applegate

“I’ll take two pink cotton candies with a side of ridiculous fun.”  ATTACK OF THE FLUFFY BUNNIES – Andrea Beaty

It’s a small world… and all that….KINGDOM KEEPERS series – Ridley Pearson

Perfect for dreary, chilly afternoons. Blankie plus cocoa plus THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE – Jonathan Stroud

What’s your favorite book when you’re feeling sassy?  I’m kinda digging MacBarnett & Jory John’s THE TERRIBLE TWO.   Let me know what I’ve missed.

The Getting Started Post

Everybody says you have to have a platform if you want to be a writer. All these agents, publishers, writers’ blogs – they all say you have to put yourself out there. Not just yourself. Your best, nicest self. This will help people like you, want to work with you, and even buy what you write.

This presents a bit of a pickle. Even my nicest, bestest self contains some fairly questionable material. A few ill-advised phrasings. And horrible timing, no matter how genuine or generous my intentions may be.

The good news is that if we’re ever at a dinner party together, you and me, you will never be the most awkward person in the room. But the bad news is that it’s hard as all get-out to build a platform on a dicey proposition such as me.

I’m up for it if you are, though. So let’s try this: How about first I tell you all the things I’m not. Then we can move on to the fun writing stuff, which is why I’m here in the first place.

I’m not:

  1. Graceful – but I love to dance.
  2. Mean-spirited (on purpose).
  3. Into reality tv, in spite of having a masters’ in documentary film.
  4. Comfortable with heights or water.
  5. Ashamed of loving cheese.
So there we have it. I feel tons better, don’t you?