Thursday, June 16, 2005

Some things are worse

I'm making a resolution. I am going to work much harder at not whining so much about having no time or space or quiet in which to work. I'm doing this for two reasons:

1. Tamara Jones' #9 on her list of Don'ts. (I asked her to talk more about how she accomplishes this. Giving up features was only part of the solution.)

2. Gastroenteritis.

Without going into too much detail, I was absolutely flattened yesterday. My mother didn't see the worst. I can't figure out if it was a bad taco (in which case my husband should have been affected as well) or a swimming pool with a low pH (HOAs are overrated). By lunchtime I was on the phone to my husband, begging him to come home early. Not only was I totally uninterested in writing, but the idea of feeding our boy (and the body aches, and the chills, and the desire to do nothing but sleep) left me curled up on the couch with my eyes shut tight.

During the hour I waited (it's finals week, so he couldn't leave right away), I managed to get the boy a Pop-Tart. They don't smell, after all, even when a toddler who recognizes that Mommy hasn't eaten all day tries to get her to eat some. But God bless the kid. I was so afraid he'd take advantage of my situation and get himself or my manuscript hurt. He totally didn't. He came up on the couch and snuggled with me. He showed me the pictures in his books. He didn't climb on a single piece of furniture other than the couch. Later on, at bedtime, when his insecurity about my health got the better of him, we snuggled in front of a baseball game together.

Before I got sick, I was going to write an entry about how I had proof that the past week's schedule was messing me up: my readers are seeing problems in Chapter 7 that I knew were there but couldn't pinpoint enough to fix. I was going to write about the irony in how the same life event that had given my fiction a soul - having a child - was now muddying my vision of that soul. In short, more whining.

I've now been reminded of how temporary so many things are. Stomach bugs and writer's block and families too. I don't want to say I was forced not to write for a day, because I don't feel that I was. Rather, as Tamara said, we're all in it together. My boy showed me that when he did his very best to help his Mommy feel better, and when he asked me to return his gestures later that evening.

I'd like to think we can help each other over the writing humps, too.


Blogger Lee Hauser said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

16/6/05 2:07 PM  
Blogger Lee Hauser said...

Oooh, I'm so sorry you weren't feeling does one express empathy through text?

Little ones are often very empathetic, as I think Benjamin was to you yesterday. Jonathan can be like that.

I trust you're feeling better today.


16/6/05 2:09 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Oh, nooooo.... Now I wish I'd stayed! It was one of those things where, did I hang around and make you feel as if you needed to be a Hostess, or did I risk taking off when you weren't feeling 100% and have you *really* fall apart after I'd gone? Poor Christa!

As for Benjamin... That child is *unreal.* I can't believe he actually took care of you. Hang on to him as long as you can! Hugs and kisses to both of you, and I hope you're feeling much better today!

16/6/05 2:35 PM  
Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Thanks Mom and Lee for the well wishes. Yes, Benjamin is wonderfully empathetic... which I can only hope to nurture through being there for him, still, when his insecurity over taking care of Mommy gets the better of him.

22/6/05 5:36 PM  

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