Last night Emily and I vegged out to watch a Christmas program on tv after Elijah went to bed. Being the multi-tasker I am, I couldn't sit still and do nothing, so I turned my laptop on.
I decided to go through some old writing files--maybe I'd glean a bit of inspiration to add to my goals for 2006. All week I have really been focused on creating my goals for next year, but still have gotten nowhere. So I needed something to jog my brain.
I opened a folder that contains several files of children's stories I wrote a couple of years ago. They were the catalyst for the first children's book I wrote. I figured that was as good a place to start reading as any.
I'd forgotten how good the stories are! As I read I thought, 'I wonder what Emily would think about these?' Now let me tell you, this was nerve-wracking. I mean, sending your work to editors and agents is difficult enough. Turning your "babies" out into the world to be eaten alive by red pens and rejections is tough stuff--but reading them to your children is even tougher!
"Would you like for me to read you a story?" I asked Emily.
"Yeah!" She's always up for a good read.
Emily sat through the first story I read, listening intently. When I finished, I looked up and her eyebrows were doing this funny wrinkled thing. Uh-oh.
"What did you think about that?"
"I like it," was all she said.
"Would you like to hear another?" I got a little braver.
I have about four or five of these, as my idea back then was to create a series of children's book, based on the same character.
"Sure!" Emily replied. Here we go again.
I read a second story. This time though, while I read, Emily began acting out each scene as I read it. I couldn't help but smile as I watched her from the corner of my eye while reading. My heart's wings fluttered.
By the end of the last story, she asked for more. I had to tell her that was it, because we'd come to the end of my "stash."
"Do you have a Christmas one?" she asked.
There's nothing like a good dose of support and encouragement that comes from a child, who doesn't even know that all the stories I just read to her were written by me, her mother.