It is only 23 more days until the writer's conference. I may very well have a breakdown before then. In a perfect world, I'd find the time to make *all* the corrections/additions to my novel that I've been putting off, but it was either take a break from the whole thing or go into fits. So I took a month off, and now I'm working on the book again. I am really pleased to say that I wrote an entire scene (a pivotal one!) today while Sam ate lunch and flung green beans at my laptop.
It was another red letter day here at the Vandeputte household. In addition to green bean-flingage, Sam also protested his dirty diaper by smearing poop all over his bedroom rug. For the tenth or twelfth time. Like everything else, we're going to have to put off ceramic tiling to pull up his bedroom carpet and plunk down some self-adhesive vinyl tiles instead.
It won't be this weekend, though, because Tom and I have big plans. The whole weekend is devoted to thrilling the pants off Sam. Saturday is GE Family Day, or as I like to call it, The Annual Assuage-Our-Guilt-At-Making-Your-Husband-Work-A-60-Hour-Work-Week-Have-Some-Carnival-Rides-And-Funnel-Cake-As-Compensation Day. Tom and I always enjoyed it when we went pre-children, but this is the first year that Sam is going to get much out of it. I can't wait for him to experience the fun. Saturday night (or Sunday, depending on the gas situation) we're going to head first to Charlotte, then Salisbury, NC to have a Day Out With Thomas. We'll get a 30 minute train ride, and a full dose of all things Thomas for the day. I've got my fingers crossed that it goes better than Greenville's Touch a Truck Day. We took Sam, thinking he would love every minute of it, but he promptly had a tantrum when we had to wait in line and we left after 10 minutes of screaming and flailing.
Since then, Sam has started preschool, which I believe to be the most miraculous invention ever. He has learned to put his toys up before he goes outside, to stand in line, wait his turn, wash his hands, count, that people have names--and has only been going twice a week since the end of August. Next year, he will definetely go all five days a week. He needs the outlet and I need the break. And as much as I love spending time with John, he'll go as many days as they let him, too.
I have surprised myself that I'm not the kind of mom who minds if her children are away from her. I have a life separate from them. It stands to reason that they would want a life separate from me. I don't know why I didn't expect it, but it's been a miraculous revelation, nonetheless. I had nothing to do with Sam's love of Thomas the Tank Engine, for example, or for his sudden ability to count to ten, or his strong preference for pineapple over all other fruits. I find myself standing back and watching in wonder as Sam lives in his own world.
Even though a part of me wishes we could go back to the wonderful he-and-I world of babyhood, I can't say I'm not happy for the room to breathe. Besides, if motherhood is a religion, I must be a Deist. I like the thought of setting things in motion, then stepping back, and letting my children's own stories unfold. It's been a wonderful story so far.