Friday, February 10, 2012

i'm pregnant, but not in the typical way

I Am Not a Goner
This post is about giving birth. To a book. The two things I've been hoping the most for lately are a baby and a book. So, we've been having more sex (not a bad thing), and I've been working longer hours at night (yes; yet again). Now, listen to this: I submitted a query for my now soon-to-be-published book to the publisher (that has since offered me a contract) on the day I had penned down in my planner that I was probably ovulating. When I early one morning after that received a response telling me they were interested, and I jumped into bed to wake Leighton to tell him, his response was that it was just like when I jumped into bed years back to tell him my pregnancy test was positive.

And it felt the same way.

I really would like to be pregnant with a baby again too. I really would like another child in our little family.

But I really also want to give birth to a book. Recently, I've found myself intensely missing more of my professional self. I miss conferences and giving talks. Teaching college students. Having more patient students to teach. Engaging in more complex conversations.

Three hours each morning just seems so chintzy. But when I pick Lilly up from preschool after that, I can tell she's ready to come home. She's very mama needy, hungry, and tired. Though not quite ready for nap. I'll be darned though, I'm going to be there for her. But the afternoon hours sure feel long at times.

This past week, Lilly and I started ballet lessons. I'm giving them. We went to Step and Stretch and got her fitted for ballet shoes last weekend, and we picked up a leotard and tights as well on the way out of the store. Every day after lunch this week, we've done a short hour of ballet. So preferable to the on-the-floor playing dictated by her. And then we read books.

It requires a definite amount of patience to teach a three-year-old as opposed to college students. But it feels like an important lesson, for her and for me. I loved ballet, but since ballet is so much about the performance, it was also a very sore place for me. No mater how well I did, and I did quite well, my mom never had a kind word to offer me but would always praise the other girls. I always felt terribly shy and insecure around class and performances.

But I loved to dance; I still love to dance. As does Lilly. And she loves giving us performances. And while I sometimes feel chained to the chair--"look at me, mama!, no; look at me!!"--I look at her and I clap my hands excitedly at the end of each performance. I am genuinely proud of her.

Sometimes we love the most what's the hardest to do too. Writing and seeing a book to its completion is no breezy ride, I can tell you that. And neither is parenting. That's not to say they are not rewarding things to do. Or that I don't love doing them.

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