Today I finally dropped my baby boy off at daycare for his first full day. I meant to do so months ago, but circumstances had other ideas.
But every time I got frustrated with my lack of work time, I’d snuggle my baby in my arms and remember this post I wrote back when my now-four-year-old was the baby in my arms. The gist:
Cuddle your baby while you can. They don’t stay babies long.
The point is, all of my recent publishing progress, logo work, book editing, etc. has been squeezed into nights and weekends. I don’t say this for a pity party. I say this to remind you (and myself) that, as sure as the baby phase is fleeting, the dream that fuels your heart is timeless. Challenges and circumstances may come and go, but don’t worry. Dreams persist.
My dream still persists.
The dream that began with Sue. The dream that began here…
And (by accident? by fate?) today I find myself writing in the same coffee shop where I typed the following Facebook post… on the first day I dropped Szaba off at daycare… on the very first day I started this My Castle Heart endeavor.
“While I work, a grandmother and young granddaughter share a happy, leisurely morning swapping laughs and stories. I am overcome by this simple joy that Szaba and so many other children will never experience. I am resolved.”
What I was talking about then has evolved into Tell Me About Grandma, a book (currently in progress) to help families teach children about a special loved one they never had the chance to know.
While that book is still in the hopper (and incredibly incredibly important to me), it’s more nuanced work that’s at once delicate and heavy. It’s about grief, but about someone a child never knew. It’s about death, but about the joy and wonder of life. These are hefty issues and dichotomies to tackle in any book, let alone a kids’ picture book. Oh trust me, I will, but I’m not stopping short of what it needs to be—for my readers, my kids, Sue, Shirley, or myself.
In the meantime, I’m throwing my time, effort, and heart full force into one of my final promises to Sue: to write and publish her dream kids’ book:
Here’s where I’m at so far.
- Come up with a plan: check.
- Create my own publishing company: check.
- Build a (growing!) community: check.
- Write, write, and rewrite manuscript: check.
- Collect super beta reader feedback: check.
- Find my dream illustrator: (almost) check.
And hopefully by the end of the year:
- Book—in my hands, in your hands: CHECK.
My heart is full. I’m overwhelmed with the people and circumstances and inspiration that have led me to this place… now, then, and back again. Thank you, world, from the bottom of My Castle Heart.
I am resolved.