Not long ago I wrote about how children sometimes grow and change in such a way that you notice it suddenly as if you’re a distant relative just seeing them at the annual reunion. “Look how you’ve grown!” you think. Even though you’ve seen them every moment for the last twelve months and hadn’t noticed anything different. Well, it turns out that can also happen when you suddenly find yourself with just one of your three children.
I take the older boys to school. See last year’s back to school post for how I do with that emotional milestone. It’s just Jake and I during the day now, and it’s kind of like seeing him after a long absence. I keep thinking things like, “You tickle people’s feet now?” and “When did you start singing every few minutes?” and, “You get jokes?”
Everything seems new for me in the fall. It’s totally my New Year, autumn. (Although, I love the New Year too). I get the urge to clean out closets and things this time of year more than spring. This year I’m going to put Jake in a certain school of his own. There’s only one lesson: The Toilet.
I have a project too. I need to get busy on the next book. My agent has started sending my first manuscript to editors. That means all of my angst has shifted from her to them. But she told me from the beginning that once that happened I needed to pour all my energy into the next thing. So that’s what I’m going to do.
The thing is, it’s really hard to find time to write for myself when I write all day for others. And did I mention the new little person running around who shares jokes? Keith Urban’s greatest hits CD is called 19 Kids. I’ve heard artists say that – that their movies, sculptures, books, paintings, or songs are their children. They are that proud of them. It took as much work as raising a child. It matters that much if someone criticizes them. I get that. But when I watch Jake making up completely inarticulate songs and laughing almost nonstop all day long at literally everything, and I weigh that against writing books, I can’t help but think, Dude, he’s so my greatest hit.