Back in the fall of 1997 I sent my older son off to college. I still remember standing on the front porch, watching him drive away, waving at me through the sunroof of his gray Honda Accord.
Then in the fall of 2001 I sent my baby (who, by the way,turned 26 ten days ago) off to college.
So you'd think I would be used to sending babies off into the world.
Nope. Not when the baby in question is a 267 page manuscript that I invested small parts of several years, the entire month of November 2008 and a great deal of February, March and April 2009 in.
I wrote the majority of this book during NaNoWriMo last November, then finished it up in February so I could enter an online pitch contest. Much to my surprise, I finaled and then had to pitch the book online to the editor of Silhouette Special Edition. I studied up almost as much as I did before giving birth the first time. I had a cheat sheet beside me during the pitch. I had the conflict written out in a open Word document, ready for cutting and pasting. I hoped I knew the answer to any question she could throw at me.
I guess I must have done okay because she asked for the full manuscript.
Uhm... I had the whole book written, but it was word vomit as one of the Playground's best friends likes to call it. And as we all know, vomit must be cleaned up. My original goal was to edit and revise and mail off the book by April 1st. Oops! Didn't happen. So my revised goal was April 10, my birthday.
April 10 started off okay but Mother Nature reared her head and we had tornadoes that day. At one point I was in the utility closet with the civil defense sirens blaring and my manuscript in my lap, marking away with my green pen. I was able to finish the revisions, enter them into the Word document, print off a clean copy of the manuscript and make it to the post office about 6:30 that afternoon. I used the automatic postage machine (greatest invention since the microwave) and before I put the package down the chute, I gave it a kiss for luck.
I met my goal. Happy birthday to me!
And now I wait -- just like I waited for my human babies to grow up, graduate and make their way in the world. It's all out of my control now and worrying about it serves no purpose except aggravating my already sensitive gastro-intestinal system.
I'm out of town this week, checking up on my mom. She has some usual age-related problems and perhaps a problem with one of her medications that needs to be discussed with her physician. At least this is keeping my mind off my baby being in the Big Apple. Well, almost. I think about it sometimes. OKAY, all the time. It's what a mother does. Right?
Meanwhile I've also been brainstorming an idea for the next book and revising a short story that exceeds some recently revised word count guidelines. I finished teaching an online class last Friday and am tying up loose ends with that this week too.
I'm trying to stay busy so I don't worry, but it doesn't entirely work. Those of you old enough may remember a TV commercial for Bayer children's aspirin where a little boy asked if his friend could come out to play. The mother replied that the little girl wasn't feeling well. "Does she hurt and have a temperature?" he asked. The mother assured him she was taking good care of her daughter, to which the boy replied, "Mothers are like that. Yeah they are."
This mother is like that. Yeah she is.
Have you sent a baby (human or otherwise) off into the world?