Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#TeachersWrite - Week 1, Day 1


I can't actually believe I'm doing this. My toddler makes almost everything difficult! (I say this with a smile -- she's still asleep. If she were awake, she would be hitting keys on my keyboard and causing an hour or so of my searching Google on the iPad to undo whatever she had just done.) Couple that with being a teacher & a stay-at-home mom over the summer break, and you probably "get" my life in a nutshell: busy. I'm plunging in with both feet, though. I woke up at 5am this morning, too excited about writing to go back to sleep! (And the toddler woke somewhere in the neighborhood of every hour last night. Speaking of, our assignment for Monday, from Kate Messner's blog:)

First Draft:
My daughter doesn't sleep. Okay, that's an exaggeration. Of course she sleeps. But unfortunately, like me, she doesn't sleep well. A friend gave me a copy of 12 Hours' Sleep by 12 Weeks Old before Ava was born. I remember thinking, 'I could probably do this.' I also read Bringing Up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything. All full of great-sounding, absolutely useless (to me) advice. One day after we got back from a beach vacation this summer, I calculated that just over 5 hours of my day had been spent trying to get the baby to sleep. Roughly 2 hours for nap and 3 that night. 5 hours is about 1/3 of  my waking hours. So you see why this is on  my mind.

Some nights she drifts off without a peep. Other nights, we wrestle on my king-sized bed, sweaty and exhausted by the time she slumbers. Lately, naps have been hard, and so we've been walking -- her in our brown Ergo baby carrier, me with tennis shoes (or, sometimes, unprepared but determined, in flip-flops) and iPhone in hand.

Last night, I had an epiphany. Yes, it was dark outside, but it was warm. It's the middle of summer. After trying for 20 minutes or so, I asked her, "Do you want to go on a walk? Do you want to get in the carrier?" She, tired but unable to settle, nodded emphatically and said something close to "yes." (She isn't talking much, but that's a story for another day.) And so we walked. We walked outside beside and behind our house, cows just on the other side of the fence. We walked down the street in front of our house, a single street light to guide our way. We walked and walked and walked. Need I say that this was a flip-flop walk? But instead of being unpleasant, it was more than pleasant. It was nice. The stars twinkled in the sky, the half-moon shone. And (after one foiled attempt at returning inside), she drifted off to sleep. Maybe not peacefully, and perhaps a little sweaty, but finally. At last. Victory.

Sensory List:
smell:
baby shampoo
sweat
cow manure
cows
honeysuckle
firework smoke

hear:
cars passing
fireworks exploding
tree frogs
cicadas
hum of insects
birds
tree leaves rustling with wind

see:
stars in black sky
half moon shining brightly
cows blinking sleepily
streetlights glowing
darkened street
dark house with windows glowing

Second Draft:
The half-moon shone brightly from the dead center of the sky, lighting our way as we walked. We walked outside beside and behind our house, cows just on the other side of the fence. The earthy smell of manure and animal followed us even as we walked beyond their pen. We walked down the street in front of our house, a single street light guiding us on our way back home. Further down the street, windows glowed from dark houses. We walked and walked and walked. Need I mention that this was one of those flip-flop walks, too hurried a walk to wait for the tying of tennis shoes? But instead of being unpleasant, it was more than pleasant. It was nice. The stars twinkled in the black July sky, honeysuckle perfumed the night air, and the orchestra of tree frogs and insects created a hum sweeter than any box fan ever sounded. And (after one too-hasty attempt at returning inside), she drifted off to sleep. Maybe not peacefully, and perhaps a little sweaty, but finally. At last.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! It has been a long time since I stopped by. And your daughter is a toddler now. Sounds like you're doing well and way to go with the Teachers Write! I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo myself this month (trying to get a good chunk of my novel written). My boys are 12 and 11 now so don't require as much attendance, but I'm now divorced and work from home (plus blogging and reading... a lot) so I know all about busy.

    Do you still go to the Southern Festival of Books every year. I haven't been in a couple of years. It seems like something always comes up that weekend. Maybe this year I'll make it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't blog much in the past year & a half... Somehow kids lend themselves to extra time for writing! I do usually go to SFB. Last year, my mom helped me take the toddler for a couple of sessions, and I plan on going this year, as well. The author list looks pretty good, so hopefully you will be able to go!

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