“Late at night my mind would come alive with voices and stories and friends as dear to me as any in the real world. I gave myself up to it, longing for transformation.”
Jo March, Little Women
Last night, I submitted my first manuscript. With tired eyes at 11:00 at night, I scanned my final draft one last time and clicked submit. Just moments after, the pop fly I thought I had hit to left field suddenly felt like a grand slam. And while I have no intentions of falling into the very slim four-percent acceptance rate of the prolific English Journal, the attempt felt about as good as the reward. I felt like Jo March in Little Women, walking through the streets of New York City, knocking on publishers' doors and offering pieces of her very soul in exchange for scorn and scrutiny. And while my attempted scholarly, professional writing is a bit less 'soul-bearing' than say, this blog, it wasn't easy stepping off that cliff, knowing my hard work, time, and energy could amount to nothing but an impersonal letter of declination. I was less than enthusiastic about stepping into the professional writing world; however, I felt a great sense of accomplishment after. Call it my first feat of many, I hope.
And then today happened. The Friday before Spring Break, after a whirlwind of a week, and I find myself more than ready for after-work drinks, dinner plans, and a relaxing start to a breather week at home, I received a call from daycare informing me that Cruz had puked and would need to be picked up. My little boy is sick, and there is nothing I can do about it but rub his back, hold him close, and give him small bites of Pedialyte popsicle until his tummy is strong and back to normal.
And if I felt like a warrior poet last night, nothing makes you more fit for war than being a mama of a baby who's out of sorts. My role as nurturer steps firmly on the front line, ready and willing to take the weight of the world on her shoulders if that would mean her baby would feel better. The manuscript is temporarily forgotten, selfish plans for margaritas and salsa are put on hold, and I'm suddenly snuggling on the couch, watching my boy like a hawk, with nowhere to be but right here.
Plans will change, manuscripts will be declined, and disappoint will ensue, but there is no greater victory than being this boy's mama.
Spring Break last year. 70s all stinkin' week. Come on, spring.