Some time between August and November, Baba changed from being a baby to being a little person — a little person that is brimming with opinions and ideas and curiosity. I don’t know how it happened, but I suspect the when was sometime around when the plates in her skull fused together, transforming her from mewling newborn into a person. An actual person, who spends every waking minute trying to find out more, more, more about her world.
Almost overnight, she had a child’s face and head, and a child’s thoughts to go in it. Two days after she learned to crawl, she tried to stand, dragging herself up on anything that she could grab. Now that she can easily stand with help, she’s trying very hard to stand without help. She manages to succeed for brief moments — a few seconds here, a few seconds there. She’s taught herself to fall, so when her legs buckle, they buckle neatly beneath her, bringing her down onto her rump.
Most of the time.
My writing journey has felt much the same lately. I’ve had a second short story accepted for publication and I have been holding off on writing here until I have the details to share with you, but it’s been nearly a month now, and the details haven’t come. So I will share that I hope that things are happening. The journey continues, but it does so haltingly, a wobbly baby step at a time.
In the meantime, I decided to distract myself with NaNoWriMo, because I have deeply missed first draft writing. I am working on an existing project — the novel that I began in graduate school — and I have been furiously burying myself back in the 18th century in order to do it. Trying to write this intensively while taking care of my Baba has been a constant exercise in acceptance of my own humanity. Although an experienced NaNoWriMoer, I am nearly 5,000 words behind where I should be. I am only scribbling off this post now because today’s writing went well enough that I started to close the gap. This year, it’s not about winning NaNoWriMo — it’s about getting back to writing something new every single day, which I haven’t done for months. On a day like today, when the baby slept and the trains were kind, my success fills me with energy. I want to stay up all night and crow from the roof. Tomorrow, well, tomorrow is, as they say, another day.
And so it goes. The days pass and I watch Baba, whose journey feels like a reflection of my own. In the garden, the leaves turn and fall off of all the bushes and vines that I’ve planted, and I know that they too will be back to their productive summer glory…one of these days.