My first grandchild came in March. His parents wanted some privacy, and I respect that, so I didn’t tell my online audience. I am now a grandmother. I posted my last blog post shortly after he was born, and since then much of my free time has been consumed with this baby; flying to see him, planning for him to come see me, talking to him on Facetime, gazing into his beautiful little face, thinking about what he looks and acts like when I’m not with him, etc. I never would have believed the depth of feeling I have for this wonderful creation. When I’m not thinking about him or how I can get to see him, I’ve been occupied with my other baby.
On October 11, 2016, I gave birth to the words, “The End.” I was sitting in a coffee shop, and the battery on my computer was about to die. Pressing a stranger into service, I said, “I just finished a book. Would you mind taking my picture?” I sat there looking at the last sentence with this stupid grin on my face until the machine shut itself off. After a lifetime of desire, and two years and ten months of groping around in the dark trying to form a coherent manuscript, I had reached a milestone in the inception of this idea. I never would have believed the depth of feeling I had for this wonderful creature.
It’s miraculous, isn’t it, how humans have the capacity to change and grow even as we age? The boy baby has helped me to see myself as a mother. Being a witness to new motherhood through my child’s eyes helped me to give myself credit for all the things I did when I was a mother. For the first time in my life, I can say, “I was a good mother,” and mean it, I can acknowledge it as a lockstone of my identity. I wasn’t perfect, but I did some things right, and for that I can take a measure of pride.
I’ve also learned a lot from the other baby. Unlike my grandbaby, who came into this world perfectly formed, my book baby is a steaming pile of hot goo. Right now, it’s like a hormonal teenager peering into a fun house mirror. The emotions are sticking out in places where they should be muted, and muted in places where they should stick out. The main character consumes the whole stage, with barely any room for all the other characters that inhabit the world.
Sometimes I ask her, my character, “What comes next?” and she picks at her zits and shrugs her shoulders, mumbles,“IDK.” The book still needs to grow and develop, so I’m not finished. I thought that if I had some chapters, a beginning, a middle and an end, that I’d be finished,and of course that notion was fantasy. However, I have learned something very important in the last two years and ten months, as a part of this process of fulfilling a dream/learning what it takes/typing the words, “The End.”
I’m not the pauser anymore. When I started this blog, I wanted to see who I really was. I wanted to explore social media, which I’d never had time to do before, and I did that. I wanted to write, I wanted that above all. And that’s what I did,even though I was scared, even though I didn’t know if writing would fulfill me. I worried about whether or not I was a good enough writer, as if being good at something was the only qualification for devoting yourself to it.
Now, for the first time in my life, I can say the sentence, “I am a writer.” And I can mean it. Writing is a bone-deep part of who I am. Words are the film upon which I lay my history, the filter through which I navigate, and the starch that strengthens my resolve. The words might stink, they might be rotten, they might not make sense to anyone else, but I need them. I need the broken words most of all, the adolescent words that push me to make them rounder, more resonant versions of their former selves. That’s where the fulfillment originates, from the fragile words.
I’ll leave thepauser.wordpress.com up for now, but I probably won’t put up any more posts. A new site is on the horizon, a site that squares with my current latitude. I’ll keep you all informed about where and when to expect that move.
In the meantime, what can I say to all of you who have followed me here at thepauser? The words, “Thank you,” seem completely inadequate to describe the rich interactions, comfort, and encouragement I derived from my conversations with you.When I landed on the shores of blogdom, I was weak and used up and sugarless.You nurtured me through, and I never would have believed the depth of feeling I could develop for a bunch of strangers floating in media-space. I love you all. And I mean it, right up to the top of my hat.
But now,it’s time to press play.