Yesterday was a good mommy day.
We took Aidan to the Noah’s Ark exhibit at the Skirball Center. It’s this incredibly beautiful, creative interactive exhibit that boo loved. He’s not old enough to climb the rope ladders into the upper berths and scramble around there with the bigger kids, but he found tons to do. I think we could have stayed all day, actually, or longer, and he would have forgotten that naps, our home, Jack and Maggie, his crib ever existed. He would just run from room to room with a leather ball between his teeth, occasionally stopping to play with a fake piece of poop made of foam or a frog puppet gazing up in awe at a sheep made of a bicycle seat or a giraffe whose neck moves with the turn of a hand crank, and he’d keep on going until he learned how to walk, when the experience would shift into something else. He liked it that much.
Eventually we did have to leave because mom and dad were hungry and because we were expected at my parents’ house, where my mom was hosting a reading of The Wicked Wit of the West,
by the recently deceased Irv Brecher, the great screenwriter and father of my mom’s kooky best friend Joanna, whom I adored, who also died last year. Harlan and I filled up on lemon bars and chocolate chip cookies and managed to use our child of the host privileges to procure a bagel with white fish, but we missed the reading itself cause boo was loudly refusing to nap in Grandma’s crib, tears and blood (from a scratched scab) streaming down his face. So, we hung out on the guest bed in a three-way love fest, boo smiling through his long wet lashes bouncing and babbling and even doing some practice standing. Funny, when he used to scoot around, pulling himself with his hands, he took his first few crawl steps on the bed. And now, two days in a row he’s gone from downward facing dog up onto his feet before sitting down on his butt, both times on the safety of a big, fluffy mattress. Our boy may be preparing to walk.
If yesterday was a good mommy day, Friday was a good writer day. I’ve spent weeks using creative procrastination—supposedly finishing up my book proposal—to avoid working on Audrey Rose. Well, Thursday I turned all drafts of the book proposal over to my friend Carolynn to get her opinion, so Friday, that out of my hands, I had no choice but to turn to Audrey. I began by printing the outline I’d submitted to the producers all those months ago, taking it to a cafe and reading it through. I took a few notes in the margins, ideas I came up with for making it creepier, ways to deepen character or setting, but mainly I was just reading it through to get my bearings. And you know what…it’s good! It’s really good! It totally works.
So, no more excuses. I’m going, full steam ahead, writing Audrey Rose, finishing Audrey Rose, and I’m psyched about it!
Something else happened on Friday. I received an early birthday present from my in-laws, a piece of paper that said, “Nanny Service Writer’s Grant 2009,” informing me that I’d been the recipient of a nice sum of money that would go to cover nanny services while I am completing writing projects. Not only that, but it is renewable two times. It’s a lot of babysitting money.
That was about the sweetest, most thoughtful, most creative gift I’ve ever received.
On Friday, when I left the Novel Cafe where I’d been reading through my Audrey outline to go to yoga, I passed by a bookstore, where there was some kind of mommy book in the window. It made me smile. And I thought, I’m a mom, I’m such a mom, beaming at goofy baby photos, but I’m also a writer. While being a mom might touch my heart in a more profound way, while it might be the part that is more consuming right now, I am equal parts mom and writer, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It feels fucking great to have a good writer day and I can only assume that having days like that contribute to making me a better mom, too.