Sunday, May 12, 2013

Babies and Mothers

Once upon a time I was not a mother. And then one day I was. It's been not quite half my lifetime, thank goodness, though that day seems to close in faster every year: I was 24 the day I became a mother; that child will be 20 this summer. 

Isn't he adorable? We were celebrating his feet that day, since Matt spent nearly all of his first year of life in double casts and had surgery at 9 months to correct club feet. 

And then one day, nearly 3 years later, there were two. 

A second boy, just like I knew it would be. Jake was no less adorable than Matt, though rather plumper and with less hair for a longer time.

Then came the girl. In such a rush to get here that I never got an epidural. It's a good thing Emma is a laid-back teenager, because I've already endured all the pain I care to have from her.

First daughter, first granddaughter, spoiled-sweet. Less likely these days to chew on plastic parrots.

But three was not the right number for us. Someone critical was missing. A boy who wouldn't mind (too much) having a big sister who bossed him around and two big brothers to worship. 

And how's that for a great ending to a Mother's Day post--my mom and Spencer more than eleven years ago :)

This is an odd Mother's Day for me, because I'm away from my kids preparing for the launch event of my debut novel. The book-as-child metaphor is not uncommon, and considering that I sold this novel at auction on the same day my oldest son graduated from high school, it's a metaphor I've pondered. 

And decided it's not for me. 

My books are my books. I love them. I work hard on them. I'm nervous about them going into the world and what sort of reception they will have. What if people are mean to my books? What if they  make my characters cry or feel self-conscious? What if they sink without a trace? 

But they are only books. 

If I could have been only one or the other for the entirety of my life--writer or mom--I'd choose mom without a blink, without a heartbeat, without hesitation. 

And that makes my books all the sweeter, because my children are proud of me. 

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