My birthday came and went recently, accompanied by homemade cards hidden (surprise!) as usual under my placemat at breakfast, flowers from my husband, a cake from the supermarket chosen for maximum lusciousness by my chocoholic daughter, and dinner out a week later alone with my husband courtesy of my parents (during which said daughter did call to report what she'd done all day with Grandma and Grandpa before being put to bed at their house).
A special present is yet to come.
I sat my kids down and told them not what I want, but what I need most from them as we head into summer. I, too, am ready for less stress, later starting times to the day, a regular check on the quality and service at Dairy Twist, the smell of suntan lotion and bug spray and chlorine and sweat. I am not ready, or willing, or able, to lose Writer Time.
My manuscript will be in the hands of the group by month's end and barring fatal flaws, sent to agents soon thereafter. Thus, is the pressure off? Not a chance. I will still need to edit and polish, finalize my query letter, work at the back-office end of getting it ready and out the door.
Even when that happens, there is still no rest -- nor am I weary, in the least! Summer hits right as my WTBIN (Work-To-Be-In-Progress) screams into my ear, having waited patiently over the past several months for focused attention. Now is literally its time in the sun, and it and I cannot wait.
I explained to my kids that summer will run more smoothly for all if Mommy has Time. I need them to do a little more around the house. I need them to respect when I am on the phone and computer, and not just when I'm doing paid work (for which I have a separate but overlapping strategy to make time to do). Bottom line, however, is that Mommy on computer or sitting in corner with notebook plus quiet (low volume?) equals Mommy back to you faster -- and happier.
I will do my share. I've bought bottles of bubbles (for her) and new outdoor toys (for both). My son the videographer has a new greenscreen downstairs (Wal-Mart Arugula paint on a drop cloth). The promise of time at StarLand to play mini-golf and whatever else strikes their fancies awaits as a reward.