Fifteen years ago yesterday, I labored my firstborn son into this world. As I watched him blow out his candles yesterday and open his gifts, I realized the incredible young man he's becoming was not an overnight event--but a process.
There was a time when I worried about this boy. He was 9, 10, 11 years old, and had issues with keeping secrets, sneaking food, and hiding things. And that was at home. At school it was even worse. This was the boy who wanted to quit school in the middle of 3rd grade. We talked with him, counseled with him, spoke to his teachers, his bishop, we prayed for him. We did everything we knew how to do.
Then he turned 12 and things began to change. It was a change that came from within him, something we nurtured and encouraged any way we can. Now he is shining from the inside out, showing the world the wonderful person I always knew him to be.
He is one of my most important WIP's.
Because everything in my life leads back to writing, I couldn't help connecting this to the process of creating a book. You start with that initial draft, that first creation--and let's face it we may secretly know there are flaws but, for the most part, we're in love. It's beautiful; perfect--our babe in arms. Then you start revising (raising) your little babe and find flaws.
A stubborn streak.
An issue with school, either academically, socially, or both.
These aren't fatal flaws, but sometimes working through them can be so frustrating we may consider throwing in the towel. But we can't, of course. We must push through--we must work with the issue and (hopefully) make it work for us rather than against us. Many times we are inspired or buoyed up by an outside influence. Many times we can't make it through without them.
Whatever you are doing with your life--raising a child, writing a book, or both--remember that it is a process. There will be ups and downs. There will be times when even a tiny part of you wishes you could give up. But right now I'm seeing glimpses of the future, and I'm pretty sure it's all worth it.
I'm not done with my son--or any of his siblings. :) I'm still in the trenches of high school, pre-dating questions, middle school, training bras, shaving and please, dear heaven, use your deodorant! But motherhood, just like writing, is my higher calling.
And I'm sticking with it.