No Place Like Home

I spent the last week traveling with my husband and our small boy.  Our boy will be three in October, and this was his longest trip yet, both in terms of distance and duration.  We crossed the country and were away from home for eight nights, drifting from Delaware to New York to Massachusetts.

Being away from home with a small but highly mobile child was like running a deadly obstacle course for eight days.  Our son likes all sorts of activities that sound like no big deal but are a VERY big deal when a little person is in play.  Some of his favorite things include stairs, water, cars, trains, and touching everything.  He can run (incredibly fast for someone with such small legs), climb, open things, and turn things on.  He can easily get out of his pack ‘n’ play crib (I woke the first night to the sensation of my hair being pulled and rolled over to find him standing by the side of the bed smiling at me like something out of a horror movie).  It all made for a very tiring adventure.

It was wonderful, though.  Some of my dearest friends, who also have young sons, brought them along for a brief reunion, and we got to see our kiddos interact all together for the first time.  I got to see my boy chase fireflies (we don’t have those on the west coast) and splash in the fountain at Washington Square Park, like a proper NYC baby.  He got to eat more ice cream than has ever been allowed, skip his naps, play with Hot Wheels, take bubble baths in a friend’s jacuzzi tub, dance with us at a wedding, eat Di Fara’s pizza in Brooklyn and see the Manhattan city skyline from the F train.  He even learned (because it was how we kept him distracted on the long plane trip) how to play Angry Birds.  Sort of.  He shoots the birds into the ground and then giggles a lot at pig Darth Vader when he loses, which probably seems like winning to him.

This trip was also a milestone for me as a writer, because I got to sit down with my editor and talk shop. I probably said “I have a meeting with my editor at Scholastic next week,” about a hundred times during the week before I left.  Maybe two hundred times.  Certainly far more times than was necessary, and I must have been obnoxious, but everyone has to forgive me while I get used to the fact that my dreams are coming true.  I was – and am – so ridiculously, stupidly excited about everything that’s happening.

Before the meeting, I received my first editorial letter.  I was very scared about this, because I am thin-skinned.  The letter is a cool 18 pages, thanks – but somehow, it isn’t daunting or embarrassing to see the weaknesses of my work exposed.  It’s all laid out with such care, and it’s so constructive, written with only the best interests of the story at heart.  There are hills I am willing to die on, but so far, my editor and I seem to be in alignment about what matters, so no hill deaths are necessary.  She sees the things that I can’t see and asks the questions I can’t be impartial enough to ask, and yet she has absorbed the spirit of the thing completely.  I could not ask for a better guide. 

And now I’m home again, with revisions to make, and a timeline to adhere to – and a full-time teaching job that starts up again tomorrow.  Yep.  Today is the last day of my summer.  The kids aren’t back until after Labor Day, but the teachers are back in professional workshops tomorrow.  Again begins the crazy.  But then, I thrive on the crazy.  And when the crazy is accompanied by new school supplies and falling leaves, crisp air and jeans with sweaters, I can only embrace it.

Still.  For just a few more hours, there’s nothing but the last spoonful of summer and the quiet of home, sweet home. 


1 Comment

  1. Welcome home! I am so excited for you as you work to bring your book to print. Such an amazing dream come true. =)

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