Thursday, April 21, 2011

Three Beautiful Things Thursday

One. When my first novel was deferred, my agent said, write your next one, we'll come back to your first. Next one? I thought. One was difficult enough. And yet- I forced myself to write. Some days it was downright depressing, but over time it got easier, and soon enjoyable as the characters showed me their spirit, the story guiding me along. For the past six months, every time Waleed napped, I wrote. Between diaper changes, feedings, and laundry, I wrote. And now its done. I'm still not used to this as I found myself today, instinctively opening my laptop upon nap-time, only to remember, its done. The process of writing fiction has been amazing and I'd go so far as to say that the first novel's deferment is a mixed blessing as this second one is a stronger piece of work simply because I learned so much in the process and am better for it. Now, as I look at a third manuscript I drafted some time back, I feel not dread, but anticipation at creating new characters, and new worlds. The fear of 'can I do this again' is gone because yes, I can. Will any of my work see the light of publication? I hope with all my heart, insh'Allah, they will but while I wait, I will write. This was a week off from writing  [hence four blog posts in a week, yowzers], but next week? back to work, writing when he naps, when he sleeps, and all the spare snatches of time in between.

Two. Though Hurricane Andrew is many years behind me, strong gusts of wind blowing just so through the trees rapping against a window can take me back to August 1992 as if I'm huddled in a hallway with my family, our world literally crashing around us. These past few weeks we've had severe thunderstorms. Tornado terrifying thunderstorms. They come in the dead of the night cracking thunder like a thousand splintering trees, and lightening that illuminates the peaceful dead-of-night world into anything but. As long as we have each other, that's all that matters, my parents said as we surveyed what was once our home. As much as I dislike the dramatic fanfare of Nancy Grace, she recently spoke of her brush with cancer,  once I found out I didn't have cancer- I haven't had a bad day since. 'Having each other' is something I sometimes take for granted as I look at things to do, things undone, but today as I look out at the dark foreboding clouds, and anticipate the gusts that will once again steal my sleep, I am trying to focus not on the fear of that August 1992 morning, but instead my parent's words, this too shall pass, as long as we have each other it will be okay.

Three. A while back I heard someone say, it must be nice to be a stay-at-home mom. I wish I could just read books, and exercise all day! Huh? Sometimes I feel on the go from the moment I get up until I put him down to bed. There's always something I should be doing and guilt if I'm not doing it. Due to the storms of the night before, I've been exhausted today in a way I haven't for months. I thought of all the things to do and suddenly, I just couldn't. I pushed away the guilt, and self-recriminations and lay down, right on the family room rug, surrendering to my exhaustion; the television off, the phone ringing unanswered in the distance, [sorry if it was you calling]. I let the fan run over me and feel my body sink into the rug while my son as though tethered to me by an invisible rope, crawled over me, sat on my head, spotted my belly button and poked a finger, laughing hysterically. And I realized I don't do this enough. This sitting for an unhurried amount of time absorbing the lightness of his being. Not since he was a newborn and 'they' [whoever 'they' are] said it was okay to let the house go to hell, have I just allowed myself an unhurried amount of time to simply be with him without guilt like a noisy parrot on my shoulder reminding me of the things left undone. I want more time like today with him, large swathes of unhurried time, not bathing him, not feeding him, just being with him, taking in his joy, letting it settle into my soul. There should be no guilt in this time together, simply more of it.

So in Sum: Manuscripts done and undone, keeping focus despite ominous clouds, and the unhurried enjoyment of my son. A beautiful Thursday indeed. Hope you had a great day too.

22 comments:

kmina said...

Well, this is why I am commenting less and less - because I literally have no time any more. What was I doing before having a baby? I can't imagine.

Can't wait to make the kebab you posted the recipe of.

I have not fallen off the face of the Earth, I am only either chasing after my son or feeding him or watching him sleep.

kmina said...

Darn, I posted the previous comment without finishing it.

Congrats on finishing the second novel. I hope you get published. SOON. ;-) And it is in our human nature to take things for granted, isn't it?

Sometimes I also feel that I take for granted too many things, including my baby. And I try to remedy it. Glad to hear you are too.

E said...

Read books and exercise all day? *smack*

congrats on the book!! hopefully you will hear some good news about it soon. What genre does it fall under?

mystic-soul said...

Are you working on birthday party? No Chuck E Cheese please!

Aisha said...

Kmina, you too?!?! I thought I would get LESS busy once he got older but the work is just doubling, lol. Glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for your well wishes on the novel :)

E, thanks :) It's multicultural YA fiction :)

Mystic, not yet! I should though. both sets of grandparents are coming up for it. . . yikes its not that far away, thanks for the reminder :)

Anonymous said...

All the best with getting published!
Can't imagine what would it be like when you go to a bookstore and find a part of yourself there...
Cheers,
A.

Aisha said...

Thanks A. Insh'Allah. It's all out of my hands, must trust that if it will be, it will, since all things are possible if He wants it too. . . and trying not to fret too much :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, InshaAllah :)
A.

Jamila said...

I too am trying to let go of the guilt of not getting everything done and just being with baby. Good to know I'm not the only one. :)

C said...

Working in an office was much, much easier! Being a SAHM is the toughest job in the world for sure. I wish though I could go easy on myself. I have OCD when it comes to keeping the house clean. Its telling on my health now lol....

Aisha said...

A, :)

Jamila, thanks for sharing, helps me know I'm not the only one too :)

C, people don't realize how much work being at home entails! A clean house with a baby is a remarkable feat :) Kudos to you!

Anonymous said...

cutie!!

Aisha said...

Thanks :)

katery said...

here you are having to tell yourself to take a break while i am on the opposite end of the spectrum telling myself, YOU MUST GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!!
you absolutely deserve a break, you are a great mom.
lol on the "i wish i was a sahm so i could read and exercise all day!!!!"

Aisha said...

Kate, that's me too! It depends on the day :) Thanks for your kind words though, and yes- seriously, exercise and read all day? HUH? Maybe a SAHM with a full-time nanny to boot? lol

iamstacey said...

why is just enjoying our time with our special others a lesson we have to learn over and over? I've already had to remind myself to leave the laundry and forget dinner and just enjoy holding my sweet baby! What a sweet reminder from Waleed. :)

raisingbrainchild said...

I love hearing about your work on your second novel - as tiring as it must have been. Congrats on reaching this milestone, and I cannot wait to hear about when this story reaches the next one!

I am much busier on the days that I stay home with Bear than the days that I go away to work. But, it is a good busy. I too don't take enough time to just appreciate my daughter, and I can speak from the experience of having lost someone, it's an important lesson to remind yourself of but a hard one to truly internalize and practice every day.

Fran said...

Stopping by from ICLW and wishing you all the very best for your novels!

Love, Fran

ICLW #131

Aisha said...

Stacey- you are so right- its a lesson I hlearn, forget, relearn again, thank God that I at least can learn it each time regardless :)

raising, yes, its easy to say, and hard to practice, we can only do our best. thanks for your congrats! Hope youre novel/short story writing is going good too!!!

Hi fran, ,thanks :)

C said...

Aisha, I dont know if you "do" awards..but I gave you an award...check out my blog

Aisha said...

Aw that's so sweet :) Will check it out!

Julia Munroe Martin said...

Congratulations on finishing the novel! Wow! And that time together with your son -- do it as much as you can, some of my very most favorite memories are just being in the moment together. It's the best! (And even as they get older, it STILL is!) Thanks for a great blog posting!

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