5:32am. Eastern Time. Tuesday. May 18th. 2010.
I sit here. At my desk. My messy desk. Waiting for the coffee to perk. Waiting to wake up.
Today, I think it will take more than coffee.
Today, my first book is published. Born. Here. There. Everywhere.
Today is big and tiny.
Big because I have wanted this for a long time. Big because after decades of operating on academic auto-pilot, I danced with a dream. Big because there were so many voices, echoing in my head and my heart. Voices that said No. No. No. Voices that said everyone wants to write a book. It is so hard to write a book. No one gets published. Why do you think you are any different? Why do you think you will cut it? No. No. No.
So, today is big because something in me stood up to the parade of No. Big because I chose a different word.
It wasn’t a conscious choice. More of a gradual shift. An embrace. An awakening. A realization that our lives are stories we write for ourselves. Their arcs aren’t fixed. Their endings aren’t determined. And how we fill the pages of our days? It is up to us. And so, as hard as it was at first (oh, and it was), I started saying and thinking a sunnier word. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is my life. No one else’s. These are my days. What do I want from these days?
I want love. I want little ones. I want stories. I want dreams.
Today? Today, I am awash in love. Today I wait for my little ones to wake up so I can squeeze them and study their eyes like I do every morning. Today is its own story. One not yet ready to tell. One that will be told.
Today is a dream.
But today is also tiny. Because it is just one. One day. A brilliant blip on my existential radar. Today will proceed like any other. I will refill my coffee cup, my cat mug Toddler gave me for Christmas, and I will hang out with my man and my girls. We will play with rainbow stickers. We will work on puzzles. We will look for that inevitable missing piece. There is always a missing piece. We will smile and laugh and snuggle.
I sit here. Wishing I had planned these words a bit more carefully, but knowing why I didn’t. I didn’t because I wanted to come here and convey what it is that I am feeling. In the moment. On my big and tiny day.
And so. Here I am doing that. Rambling on. Allowing myself to ramble on.
Yesterday, as I wheeled Baby home from music class in her rainbow stroller, she was particularly animated. She pumped her little legs and bounced in her seat. She pointed at passing puppies and speeding cars. And she kept saying the same thing over and over.
Her words were clear. And loud. And, yes, she might have been singing “Happy Birthday” without the “birth” bit. But it doesn’t matter, does it? She said those words over and over. Happy day! Happy day! Happy day!
And these words echo in my head this morning. Of all the fancy words in life’s lexicon, these seem to be the perfect words to describe this day, the day on which my literary baby is born.
And through that small space between two sturdy words, two good words, a current of No snakes through. Those voices. No. No. No. So what? Your book is published, but will people buy it? Will they like it? Most books fade away. Don’t get your silly little hopes up. Be real…
And, on this morning, I tell those voices to shush. On this morning, my silly little hopes are up and my smile is here. On this morning, this big and tiny Tuesday Morning in May, I am all about a different word.
It’s time for coffee. It’s time for morning kisses. It’s time for today.
It’s time to wake up.
Thank you all so so much for reading my words today and every day, for holding my hand through the wild and wonderful publication process, for getting me here. To this moment. To this day. Happy LAY Day!
**NYC Kids – Please join me for my reading this Thursday, May 20 @ 7pm @ Borders Park Ave (57th St.) I would love to see you!**
**Want to join an online book club discussion of Life After Yes? Just say yes! And click over to Motherese to learn more. Oh, and to read some wonderful words about my rookie novel (and me). Thanks, Kristen!**
Please head on over to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Life After Yes. Or, as always, feel free to order it online by clicking the image below. Yay!