My son turns four at the end of this month and he is sprinting towards the marker with sparks flying from his heels; an electrical storm of questions all beginning with Why? What? How come?
The other night, as we snuggled up for story time, he turned to me, sitting up very straight and asked, “But Mommy, how does god make people?”
I stared at him, frozen. I wanted to put time on pause, go take a vacation, maybe have a drink or two, and then return to this doorway that had just been flung open in his mind.
“Well,” I said, “People are made out of love…”
And so began a conversation that continued for about ten very long minutes.
After I snuck away from the sticky grip of my sleeping boy, I collapsed on the couch and looked at my husband, “Did you hear that little conversation we had? Can we watch an episode of Lost or Heroes? Please? I really, really need to zone out.”
But distraction didn’t work. Even as I watched John Locke rise from the dead, I was thinking about my child’s questions and how I have had this theory that parents and children somersault towards one another in a mirroring of transformation. As my children grow, I grow. Sol’s recent season of questioning everything has reflected my own mood.
Tonight, his questions have been relentless and I am exhausted. I have about a hundred “Because I told you so!”‘s piled up at the back of my throat, all of them screeching and howling at the injustice of not being given freedom of speech.
Like my child, I have had a procession of questions parading around in my head; a rumpus of the Wild Things roaring their terrible roars and gnashing their terrible teeth. Many of them arising from confronting an old fear of mine – taking inventory of our environment and economy. I am usually a person comfortable with confrontation; I prefer to know rather than not know. If I am alone in a house and hear a sound, I have to go charging towards it, flinging the door open and yelling into the dark room.
But the planetary issues have existed as a noise in my mind that I did not want to go running towards. My research has led me straight into all of it – I had no intention of this happening but isn’t that how inspiration comes most readily?
On the other side of wading through statistics that, at their grimmest, have us without oil or fresh water within our lifetimes, I do not feel paralyzed or flattened. Confronting, for me, usually leads me to freedom.
After reading a recent post by Maria Schneider ( www.editorunleashed.com) about using the current times (particularly in publishing – but I think it applies to everything) as a way to inspire us, not depress us. She suggested we make a commitment to “paying it forward.” I have decided that is exactly what I plan to do.
Dan came home yesterday and asked me if I wanted to do a twelve week training challenge with him starting next week. I have decided that I am going to add to the physical challenge: random acts of paying it forward and intentional daily gratitude.
So, after getting through two weighty research books, I am going to be kind to myself this week, keep the goals simple:
1. Type up the notes for the research books I read this week
2. Continue to play with Zotero
3. Work on a rough draft for an Spring inspirational piece I was asked to write for the Tennessee Writers Alliance
4. Eat good food
5. Nap when I can
6. Allow myself one “because I told you so!” each day.
How did all of you do last week? What are your goals this week?
Oh…I almost forgot. A success! I made my first attempt at submitting poetry to the Writer’s Digest 4th Poetry awards and recieved word this week that I had placed in honorable mentions (fourth place, so essentially #29 out of the 50 they will publish in the collection)… I was thrilled because I had a secret little hope in my heart I would be able to hand the poem to my daughter in print one day and now I will be able to.
Although a humble placement, it was mighty fine to place at all; a nudge of encouragement when I needed it.