I’ve been working on writing two books and the past few weeks have been extremely hectic, to say the least. I semi-tricked myself into believing that creating a children’s book wouldn’t be as difficult as one intended for adults, but those are lies. So, I’m focusing on the children’s book first and spending quality time with Jaxon, who is the inspiration behind it all.
After taking a forever nap yesterday, he woke up wanting his favorite food and since I was fresh out, we headed to the grocery store to buy some ice cream. On God, this little boy will eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if allowed. Sometimes, I let him. And I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. As his Mimi, it’s my God-given right and basic duty as a grandparent to spoil him silly. So, ice cream it is. What? He takes multivitamins and he loves fruits and veggies, so it’s a no-brainer for me.
Anywho, after successfully navigating him past the candy and potato chip aisles (and the balding, flirtatious pharmacist) we finally stood in front of the ice cream freezer. Moose tracks, birthday cake, chocolate mint, sour patch kids— an endless variety to choose from and he selects Neapolitan! I was like, “Dude, you can have ANY of these flavors and you want chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry?” Jumping up and down so the lights on his shark sandals will come on, he yells, “Yesssss, Mimi! I want bwown, peek and white!” Boring Neapolitan it is.
On the ride home he notices the sun above us, through the sunroof of the car, and decides that it is following us. He asks why and I tell him that it’s because the sun knows that we have ice cream in our car and wants to eat some too. As I look into the rearview mirror I can see his expression and I want to laugh so badly, but instead ask him if there is a problem? His tiny features are scrunched up in confusion and he is clearly thinking about my revelation. “He wants to eat my ice cweam?” I silently give him a little time to work it out and once he does he looks at me with this huge grin on his face and says, “YOU are being siwwy, Mimi!” After a hideous lesson on the Earth’s rotation and the long distance between the Sun and us making it appear to be in the same position (or following us) he accepts my new explanation with a simple, but resigned, “Oh.” Crisis averted.
Later, over dinner of Normandy mixed veggies, buttered rice and fried fish caught and cooked by my youngest son, Nick, we watch Zootopia. Twice. Not my personal favorite, but I’m paying attention to the plot, characters, and listening for any implied adult humor. Many of the children’s movies today have an uncanny knack for including verbage that is clearly there to satisfy the parents or adults watching these movies with their little ones. Some are a little more risque than others, but this movie was fairly solid with just a few, subtle innuendos.
I ask Jaxon if he wants to include any of his friends in his story that we are writing together and he turns and gives me this inquisitive look. “I’m gonna be in the book?” he asks, for the millionth time. Before I can respond, that huge smile which seems to take up the entire bottom portion of his face appears. That smile…there’s something both innocent and beguiling about it. In fact, most of the time he bares it after he has done something sneaky, but in this moment I know that he is simply having a hard time understanding that all of the questions that I’ve been asking him lately are related to the story. I’ve explained many times what we’re working on and suppose that it won’t seem real to him until he sees his pictures (or likeness) and name in the finished book. He reveals that he wants to be Marshall or Chase and I tell him that the Paw Patrol writers would not be happy if I used those names. He seems satisfied with this answer and turns his attention back to the movie.
When I wake him up the next morning to get ready for school he tells me, “I wuv you, Mimi” and gives me a big hug. Even though he is grumpy and moving slowly, he still manages to give me pause and appreciate how precious these moments with him are. He won’t be three forever and as a mother of two adult sons, I already know how quickly they change from wanting hugs and kisses to feeling embarrassed by them. These are the moments that I savor and hold onto; moments that I relish when depression kicks in and I’m sinking into the dark place. Thankfully, those moments have been kept at bay for quite awhile now and I’m managing my anxiety much better also.
I will say that making the choice not to continue burning the candle at both ends by writing both books, has relieved a lot of unnecessary pressure that I was putting on myself. Honestly, what was I thinking? I’m no Judy Blume, but I was acting like I was…lol. In actuality, there are three stories in my head, though I’ve only begun putting pen to paper on two.
It feels good to make my daily word count and even during those moments where the brain gets foggy and uncooperative, I’ve found that walking away and taking a break (sometimes playing in the backyard with the dogs or just making a nice cuppa) seems to help me refocus and center once I’ve returned. This is an interesting journey that I’ve put off for years and now it somehow seems fitting to finally see through to the end.
Photo Credit: Brendan Church on Unsplash