Five years. Longer really, if you consider my childhood dreams dwelling in the worlds of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables. But five years since it’s been a real grown-up dream, a grown-up declaration, a deep-inside knowing of what I needed, wanted, hoped, planned to do.
I suppose five years and three months would be more exact, but after five years of halting starts and long periods of standstill, of thinking much but accomplishing little, what does it really matter to count the [continuing to pile on] procrastinated months? Five years is too long to wait, to waste, to whittle away…it’s time to write.
I remember the thrill of putting a cover on my “first book” [never mind that binding my own book in this case meant nothing more than some heavy duty card stock with stiff wallpaper glued over it] and proudly taking it to represent my school at Young Authors. I was brimming with third grade ambition.
10,000 sleeps later [though it’s debatable how much actual sleep has occurred over the years] I have a girl of my own in third grade, a shining nine year old.
Today, in her you’re-not-going-to-believe-this tone of voice, she said, “Mom, I’m going to have a book published. Like for real, my own actual book, published. With a cover and everything.” She dropped each word and phrase into the car’s open space between her seat and mine, with significance and weight, daring me to doubt or discount their truth.
I can hear the third grade ambition, independent and strong. I grin, remembering the feeling. “I believe you. That’s exciting! I’m proud of you,” I say back to her as we drive home from school.
Many people tell her, and tell me, that she looks just like me. But she’s like me in so many ways beyond what your eyes can see glancing at our faces side by side. And it’s those inner parts of our souls that make us so tightly bonded – and also why we knock heads at times.
I am a good mom. I am blessedly assured of this with much grace and love. And, I fail her sometimes. Of this too, I am painfully aware.
More than the criticisms, the corrections, the commands that have been too common as of late, she needs my commitment and my confidence: “I believe in you. I believe you can do it. Whatever it is. I believe in you. And I’m here for you.”
My daughter’s eagerness and joy in creating her book is contagious. Third grade ambition is contagious.
As I look at my daughter, the budding writer, the girl whose eyes and hair and smile as well as compassionate heart and “do it my own way, in my own time” style so much reflect my own, I remember the writer that is within me.
A third grade writer who proudly brought her wall-paper covered book to Young Authors.
A fifth grade writer who handed page after page of scribbled stories to her aunt at the typewriter.
A middle-school writer who journaled jumbled thoughts and feelings about friendship and family.
A teenaged writer who penned poetry of pain and hope, faith and despair.
A writer of endless college and seminary papers, a writer of sermons, a writer of life’s everyday experiences.
I remember. She is a good writer. And, I fail her sometimes. More than the criticisms, the corrections, the commands that have been too common, she, like my daughter, needs my commitment and my confidence: “I believe in you. I believe you can do it. Whatever it is. I believe in you. And I’m here for you.”
So, here I am. And here it is.
[My first public blog post…I wrote the beginnings of this post on February 13, 2013, but it took me until May 1, 2013 to get up the courage to post it in full! Thanks for reading.]
- [Go. Show. Love.] Jesus in the Florida Sky
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