My heart sinks as the whining coming from my son’s room works its way into a full-blown wail. The little guy, who turns two next week, has a croupy cough—his second cold this month—and between the cough, the snotty nose, and being awake half the night, he’s apparently not interested in a nap either.
I let out a slow sigh, cast one longing look at my laptop, and head upstairs. It’s November and I have 1667 words to write today for NaNoWriMo. If I don’t get any of them in during nap time, my next chance won’t happen until late tonight, after dinner has been cleaned up, lunches packed, homework done, and kids tucked in bed.
Thinking about it isn’t helping, so I slip into my little guy’s room and rescue him from the trauma of standing alone in a crib surrounded by soft lovies and blankets. He’s so exhausted, his little head drops onto my shoulder. He points to his rocker and says, “Sit.” I kiss his soft, fuzzy hair and press my cheek to his warm head. “We can rock for a little while.”
We sit, and he settles in with a little sigh, as if all he’s ever wanted in life is right here, nestled in his mom’s arms in this chair. He doesn’t feel the resentment fighting to get a hold in my chest, or the words itching to transfer themselves out of my brain and onto a screen. He only knows he’s warm and safe and comfortable.
He falls asleep, his breathing becoming rhythmic and calm, the little thumb sliding out of his mouth. I didn’t bring my phone into the room to check the time, but my guess is, if I can transfer him back into his crib, I could still get in a solid hour before we have to go pick up the big kids from school. I could write a good 800-1000 words in that hour. After all, the ideas are all there in my mind, waiting.
Ever so slowly, I shift in the chair, sliding my arm tighter under his legs. He twitches, the thumb popping back into his mouth. I wait another minute before standing. We make it to the crib, but as I’m lowering him in, it’s like a security alarm goes off. Mom is trying to put me in bed! Howling commences.
I shush him and beat a hasty retreat back to the chair, tucking him in close again. The scene plays out three more times before, heart sinking, I give up. He needs his mom today. He doesn’t care if she wins NaNoWriMo or writes a novel or gets a book published.
We snuggle again in the rocker and my eyes drift shut, even though frustration burns my insides. It’ll be hours before I get another chance to work, and I’ll be worn out by then. How will I achieve my goals?
Then a thought occurs to me. A reminder of something I decided long ago when I started writing. Three words—write by faith. To me, that means trusting God to provide ideas when I need them, time and energy to accomplish the work, opportunities to share my words, and whatever outcome He wants. If I believe He has good plans for me and my work, how can I not trust Him now, in this moment where a soft, warm little body steals my writing time?
The frustration dissolves in a moment of peace that passes understanding. Other days with my laptop and words will come, many more in the future, and while those times are special, they’re not as precious as these moments with a heavy head limp on my shoulder and the rhythmic in-and-out of soft, sweet breath. How many more times will he let me snuggle him close like this before he’s a big kid too?
It isn’t long before he wakes up, bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked. He leans over the side of the rocker, reaching for one of his many picture books sitting on the small shelf next to us. Chubby fingers sift through the choices until he finds the one he wants. Shoves it into my hands. “Mommy read. ’Night Moon.”
I take Goodnight Moon and cuddle him close as we read. Someday maybe he’ll read my books too.
Epilogue: I did end up getting in my words that day, even though I didn’t start until late. And my little guy slept through the night. *heart*
As promised, today I get to announce my first giveaway winner, who will receive a swag pack with copies of Fatal Flashback and Sharee Stover’s Silent Night Suspect, along with a couple of fun extras.
So without further ado, the winner is…TammyB! Congrats, Tammy! Your number was randomly chosen from amongst my blog followers using a random number generator. I’ve tracked down your email through WordPress and will send a separate message your way!
If you didn’t win, take heart, there will be another opportunity to win a copy of Fatal Flashback here on the blog coming up next time.