It's Spring. We're Awake. (Courtney McKinney-Whitaker)
When you have an 8-month-old, "awakening" has a whole different meaning from the lovely reawakening of nature in spring. For us, this year, "spring's awakening" has been my baby's tendency, since she turned six months in March, to wake up every morning at 2:30 and sometimes also at 5:30. It also refers to her sudden refusal to nap. What happened? She was right on track, sleeping through the night, napping twice a day, and then it's just Nope, nope, nope, no nap. I'm going to fight it with everything I have, and I would also like a three-course meal at 2:30 a.m. now, okay?
My journey to motherhood was not easy, and I know how annoying and superior and self-centered the mommy club can appear when you're not in it, and I still want to slap people who say their books are their children. There are tons of similarities—I myself have even written about these similarities—but it is not the same thing at all. Books can be your legacy, maybe, but children are a whole different ballgame. With extra innings, as my mother would no doubt argue, based on the number of times per month I call her in (usually temporary) crisis. There's also no chance anyone is going to give you a medal for raising children, unlike books, which sometimes do win awards. THE LAST SISTER, for example, tied for the 2015 IPPY silver medal in historical fiction. (I was wondering how I was going to work that in. Seamless, no?)
Unlike THE LAST SISTER, my daughter will never sit quietly on a shelf while I write my next book, nor would I want her to. That would be boring and weird for both of us, plus shelf space is at a premium in our house and reserved for books. (Who are these people who have shelf space for knickknacks? I don't understand.)
So my task now is to figure out how and how much and when I can write with an active baby who doesn't love naps and is going to crawl any day. But the good news is that there have been so many other times in my life when I've thought I have no idea how this is going to work or how I'm ever going to get all this work done, and some of those times have been in the last eight months and every time, all the work has gotten done. I have learned how to do it. (Example: When I was in college, I didn't have time to write longhand, so I taught myself to compose on the computer. That was hard, but second nature to me now.) So I trust that it will get done this time, too, and once we get back from all the (first-world problems) traveling we have to do this summer, I am going to look into childcare options.