Ten Years Later…
Ten years ago today, I ended the longest day of my life — 23 grueling hours of unmedicated back labor — with a plea for an epidural (which made both my mother and husband burst into tears of gratitude for ending my own suffering and theirs) and a few hours later, the birth of my son, Cameron.
That was when my life as a mother began.. and my dreams of writing were in large part deferred. My kids were never the kind to sleep quietly while I wrote. They mostly screamed, and made enormous, staining messes, and when they got old enough fought with each other. I call this part of my life The Decade of Maternal Bitterness.
But this morning, as I shipped Son Number One and his little brother off on the bus to school (yes, he wanted to ride the bus on his birthday — he got a new DS -i he wants to show off) I realized I owed the entire past year of writing success to him. Not only have I written and published multiple essays about the “joys” of parenting, almost every character that pops into my head for my middle-grade books is based very closely on him. If you’ve read my work, you know this means I have a child similar to Raymond Mahaney running around loose in my house. Pity me.
My mom used to say, “Someday you’ll look back on this and laugh.” It’s true. Writing about Raymond/Cameron, I do laugh, a lot. Now.
But ten years ago, if you said that to me, I would have smacked you with a dirty diaper. Gotta love perspective.
Happy Birthday, Cameron! And thanks for giving me enough material to make a career.