How many words should be in a chapter?

How many words should be in a chapter?

I have read many books, but did not pay attention to how many words or even pages were in a chapter. I simply turned the pages and could not wait to discover who did what and why.  When I got to the last chapter I was either shocked, relieved or wanting more.

I researched at length just how to format a chapter . I think I got a firm grasp on what goes into a chapter.

For instance:

If one of my characters receives the phone call she  desperately waited for about the location of her son, she will rush out the door.                                                                                        If my character rushed out of the house forgetting to turn the stove burners off and jumps in her car. The chapter should reveal where she drove off to or leave you needing to turn to the next chapter to discover if the information was credible. The chapter should also reveal the consequences of leaving the burner on, or perhaps it should keep you guessing for a few more chapters.

I researched even further how many words a chapter should have. I discovered that a chapter could have as little as a paragraph, a sentence and to my surprise it could just have one word!  Yea, ONE word. Well any writer that can draw in a reader with just one word is my idol!  Speaking of just one word, have you heard about the best-selling book currently on AMAZON ? The pages are BLANK! Ummmm…yea that’s my new idol.  I think I idolize it because that “writer” is on  the best sellers list.  However I could never deliver blank pages.  My characters are so busy plotting and twisting their way through chapter after chapter, they’re too strong to be silenced.  So I’ll have to live with not making AMAZON’s best sellers list! ( although I desperately want to be on someones best sellers list!!)

My  youngest character still does not understand what is going on. He is having trouble knowing his own truth. He is conflicted in his head who is telling him the truth, having great trouble realizing who really loves him. My oldest character has yet to hear that his final case that allowed him to take his neglected wife on a month-long Hawaiian vacation is about to lure him back in.  They have no care how long the chapters are, all they know is they are moving forward.  When one or two of them are left out of a chapter they use that time to plot just how far they will twist and turn. My characters like the time and love when I fill the chapters with their abilities, therefore I could never just give them one paragraph, one sentence and certainly not one word. What they will not reveal to me is how many words or how many pages their chapter needs!

While each of my characters are busy I research further on an answer. I think half my library is filled with chapter research books.   I devour each book and just when I think I have the answer the next chapter tells me other wise. I begin to feel like a failure, like I am not a writer after all, like maybe that “writer” of the blank pages has the right idea!  As I begin to empty my coffee into the sink my youngest character decides that he knows the truth. He decides his short years within the chapters have all been a lie. He begins to believe that he was never loved by the people who he thought were his parents, he begins to believe they used him as some kind of sick revenge.   He started to develop familiar feeling for the people who took him.

My youngest character has forced me to put away the research books and write his revelation in the next chapter but he has not told me when to stop or  how to stop he just needs me to keep going until he is out of breath. At the same time my oldest character is hearing what transpired while he was on vacation, so now he needs to jump into action. But he can’t jump in on my youngest’s  chapter so he has to wait, he needs to cool his heals until the youngest is out of breath.  Yet neither, not the youngest or the oldest has told me how many words they need!

Through all the research and character interruption, I have learned word count does not matter.   Nor does it matter how many pages it takes my characters to move forward. It only matters that my characters move forward and that by the last chapter they ought to have shocked me, left me relieved or  begging me to write their sequel!

Of course all  that I have learned, and what my characters need has to bearing on what the editors will do to us !!!!                                                  

The Title

I was woken by the sound of the screen door slamming as my husband left for his extra long day of work. I mention extra long because it seems that his 12 hour day is not enough, and being that he missed a day due to the marvelous March storm he had hours to make up!

The bang was followed by the 2 little dogs screaming from their comfortable cozy sleeping crates at the foot of my bed. I wonder why they wait for him to leave, seriously they know he is  quite capable of opening the latch. But no, they lay there peacefully sleeping beside the fireplace just waiting to cause havoc.  Do they hold in their morning needs just to please him or annoy me? I could just let them cross their little legs but being that the boy just can not sleep in his own room and is snuggled so sweetly under my blanket I shuffle in and release the hounds. The big dog is at my heals just waiting to pounce on the little dogs and continuously jump knocking me in the chin each time until the back door is ajar.

So now all 3 dogs are out. The cat starts to fuss. Her food dish is full but not over flowing so that needs immediate rectifying. Oh! and the water bowel which all the animals share is not fresh enough for her. Well now that the water is running, why not fill the coffee pot and begin the magic of turning tap water into delicious aroma filled morning pick me up.

As I’m preparing the dogs breakfast, I notice a sink full of dishes. Perhaps while I was sleeping there was some sort of party in my house?  I mean I started the night in my crowded bed but my youngest needed that tiny little space for his foot to flop on, so I retrieved in defeat to the couch. How did I not hear the party going on?  So as I’m slicing the hot dogs for the 2 little dogs and adding broth and cheese to the big boys breakfast, my mind start racing on what I should take out for dinner.  Just as I decided on a simple bone warming soup of lentils, I thought of a title for my soon to be released book.

Yes soon to be, I mean so I have not reached or conjured up the last few chapters yet or spent gut wrenching hours on the re-write it will soon (sooner or later) be released! I step away from the kitchen counter and  search for my writing pen. Ummm, not just any ordinary pen will do, it has to be my writing pen. Of course during the party that I missed someone must have used it. Now I make a mental note to write whoever touched it into my work and kill them off!  My shiny metal red pen with black ink and grips to match is not at my desk, not tucked into the spirals of my notebook, not on my coffee table next to the couch where I slept. It was G .O. N .E, gone! I begin my search through angered eyes. I felt my eyes were bulging so that they were going to pop out. I am stomping and slamming all objects in my path. I reach for the phone to call my beloved hard-working husband who provides mighty for his family to tell him off. I was intent on making his moment  as frustrating as mine. I mean who the, who in the…just why did he slam that door and wake the screaming animals, how could he do that to me?

The wretched sound of the big dogs nails on the aluminum back door caused me to spin on my heels and grab the water bottle. Ah, the water bottle, well you see the big mooch is petrified of water, the very sight of the water bottle causes him to curl on the ground with his tail between his legs. I show him the bottle through the door. Of course he reacted just as I knew he would, like I wanted him to. The poor big mooch is curled in a ball on a heap of snowy ice. Well now my heart breaks and I kneel beside him apologizing as the little ones are jumping all over me.  There I am kneeling in the snowy ice talking to all 3 of them, telling them I just needed a cup of coffee and the day will get better.

After the morning feeding ritual and 2 cups of coffee consumed I now feel a bit more like I am ready for the day. My boy is still snuggled in my blanket, perfect time for me to sit at my desk and make the sooner or later soon! Still no pen in sight. Well it is the age of technology so who needs that pen when I have  a key board?  (me…me…I do) I sit and stare at the key board with a blank mind. I can not for the life of me remember the award-winning title I was sure would bring me to the NY Times best seller list. That stupid pen, if no one touched my pen, if that door did not slam if only there were no dishes in the sink.

The dishes, that’s right dinner. Soup it is. No dish soap, oh! gees yea I have laundry to do. The marvelous March storm dumped more ice than snow, perfect for sleigh riding, only problem is I thought  spring was coming early so I threw sleigh riding essentials in the attic just last week. Of course the essentials have already been plagued with attic smells so they need to be washed. The sled, where did I put that sled? Of course I never took it out of the car, one crisis averted. Sifting throughout the essentials I notice there is only 2 gloves and of course they don’t match. One is mine the other is the boys, one for warmth and the other water proof.

The boy…gee he’s still sleeping. Well that can not be. I have a lesson to get him through. He has fractions to master and a book due back at the library at the end of the week that we are not even half through yet.  The water is filling up in an empty washing machine, as I fight with the school dresser draws. I see it, I see the shiny red pen rolling back and forth as I fight with the draw. The title hit me again. I will make the best sellers list yet! I squeeze my swollen fingers in the draw and retrieve the pen. I shuffle back over to my desk thumbing through the notebook pages for a blank. I pause to read the well plotted out scene that I was patting myself on the back for the previous night. I wonder who wrote such gibberish, now I have to fix it and make it at least read like a coherent person wrote it.  I open the file on my computer and make my key board sing.

The lovely song coming from my keyboard is interrupted by the sound of my cell phone. I try my hardest to ignore it. But my mind immediately goes to the dark side. What if the middle guy is in a ditch somewhere, what if the oldest needs advice about one of the grandkids who’s bleeding he can’t control what if it’s the hospital trying to locate my husbands next of kin?  Well that phone solicitor will never dial my number again!

My key board refuses to sing for me now. The boy is still sleeping. Ok, well you know what fine, I can watch the season finally that I DVR’d, the episode that caused me to resist the urge to troll Face Book. How could I not read the millions of posts that would spoil the ending for me? I mozy over to my glorious magic machine and brew another cup.

Plopped on my couch still draped with the boys blanket, I snuggle under it with the 2 little dogs and the big mooch at my feet. All 4 of us as comfortable as could be when again the annoyance of my cell phone rang. I check the caller id and decide to ignore.  There was no one in a ditch, no blood and no next of kin needed. I make it through the episode quickly by fast forwarding the commercials. I am not thrilled, I was not in shock and I was not an emotional mess so for me the episode was a let down. I think to myself that I could have written it better. Write, written, wrote …Oh! come on what was the title that was sure to send me on a world book signing tour?

The 3 dogs start their dance of needing to go out. They just absolutely had to get out and bark at the grass growing under the snowy ice. Now I remember the sledding essentials needed washing. The stupid machine is full of water and every time I tried to place the essentials in I caused a mess on the floor.  Hmmm..floor? tour? I got it. I know how I am going to have my main character find her son.  I know who is going to help her. But what was that stupid title I thought of?, it must not been as good as I thought.

My key board is beginning to sound lovely, that darn phone again. My beloved hard-working husband is asking me about my day so far. My mind was telling him that it was fine and lovingly inquired about his, but out of my crazy mouth came…what do you care any how? It started horrible because you didn’t let the dogs out and you slammed the flipping door!  I went on and on about the dishes, the clothes, the lack of soap and the fact that my car was covered in snowy ice! And you know what he said…he had the nerve, the audacity to tell me that he was sorry he had to leave early and  was more sorry that he would not be home for dinner. Well now I feel like a fool, but do I admit it…NO, I continue with “well now what do you suppose I do for dinner?

I return to the keyboard which punishes me with silence. The heat is rising from the souls of my feet, the nape of my neck feels like a flame thrower is aimed upon it and moisture is forming on my scalp. I waddle to my sink and splash cold water on my face and fill a tall glass and gulp it down.(yes…folks MENOPAUSE)  The title is back in my thoughts. But the thought of how I just treated my beloved husband brings me to my knees with tears. I sobbed out an apology to the man who is my everything, of course he accepts, which does nothing for the deep shame I am feeling.

The big mooch again drives me mad with his nails on the aluminum, which he discovered at an early age would bring him and the little ones in the house immediately. Rushing to the door which is just passed the washing machine I realize I still did not clean the over flow mess. Well now I am on my butt and the boy is looking down at me demanding his iPad. I scream at him like he just asked for a pint of blood.  The boy begins to tell me just how mean I am, his angry frown turns into tears. I scramble to my feet and grab him in for the hug of a life time that he tried with all his force to fight against.  Not only did I bring him the IPad but a breakfast in bed  fit for the prince he is.

I return to my magic machine for another cup of sanity. each time I pass the counter where the magical cup stood I indulged. I passed the counter with the vacuum, the dust mop and finally wet mop. I passed it as I dragged the bucket of cleaning supplies room to room finally finishing the last cold drop with delight.  Chores were complete, well except for the laundered essentials, which I am patiently waiting for the machine to empty so I can properly put the essentials in before running the water.

I made a deal with the boy since he awoke to madness, I figure he deserved a day off from schooling. He was contents in the room nestled in the bed by the fire face -timing his friend. Perfect time for me to jot down the title . NOPE, not going to happen for the life of me I can not remember my award-winning, book signing tour , NY Times best selling list TITLE !

I look up at the time on my computer…11:11. I think I heard somewhere that  was supposed to be good luck.

The dead line…

As I sit here with the my blue tooth speaker belting out Janis Joplin, my dead line is looming over me.

I know I should be allowing my characters to sing their song, dance their dance yet I am trying to show them I care.

I mean really we all need a break every now and then. My characters have been busy running and hiding, bobbing and weaving, and being too high and too low!

My youngest character has had his emotions built up and torn down, poor little guy just needs to sleep. His mother is so very exhausted from her break out. Her brain needs down time to gear up for the hide and seek game of her life. His father, gees!; the poor big guy is clueless, he just does as he’s told, even if it goes against everything he believes to be true.

The crazy woman that has plotted her dance for several years sure could use a drink. She has had her mind full of the next step for far too long and she was not careful to watch what she asking for. Her husband was low on self esteem and now don’t know what to do with his confidence,all he knows is that he will do anything to hold on tight to it.

My oldest character thought he was going to run off into the sun set with his wife that he neglected for years. But the heat of the beat draws him in deep.

I mean come on I have a heart, I see it in their eyes , hear it their voices and see it in their actions that they just need to rest. They need time to think of their next move, time to plot it out and get it right.

But do they feel for me?…

Do they understand that these things need to be done on a time line. Do they understand that some might just be looking forward to their next move?  Do they realize if I consume one more cup of coffee and not get my hands on some Sangria I might over dose on caffeine ?

Why do they think I can sit here for hours, neglecting the fury members of my life, or ignoring my own little guy’s cries for the remote that he looked everywhere for but did not see it just inches from his face?!! Is it fair that they rest while I stress about what to make my husband for dinner who is not clueless or in any state of self-doubt?

 

Can they sympathize with me that if they were not at rest and willing to help me with my dead line that I could be the one running off into the sun set? (well for a few days at least)

I digress! I am a caring person and will let them all have their rest, but I shall give them their very own dead line. And when it’s up I shall wake them with a bang!

 

Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,

We never had the chance to meet. I only know what others tell me about you. I have pictures but still don’t know what you look like.  I heard stories of who you were but I don’t know who you are. All I have is an empty feeling.  I am jealous that my siblings knew you,  my heart breaks because they know what they lost.  They have memories I will never , pain from those memories I could never share.

My birth was certainly unplanned as you and Dad went to medical measures to ensure only 3 children.  I am thankful and angry at my higher power everyday for such an event.  Here I am the youngest of 4, you were given another child to carry and chose to bring into the world hoping to raise us as a family. For what many state happened for a reason,  your right was taken away, my right to a happy family was stolen from me at only 9 months of age. I know accidents happen and no one could have controlled that day, but I just can not fathom what the reason could be.

When each  of my boys  were born, I  feared not being there for them, especially the youngest. His birth also defeated medicine. With each passing year I wonder what you think of me. I hope you would be close to my boys. I wonder which one of your grandchildren you would pretend not to favor. I often imagine which one of your daughters you would spend  the most time with on the phone complaining about the other. And which son you would call upon the most to help Dad fix up the house.

I could rant and blame my higher power, but honestly all I do is question. I know I will receive the answer one day as I stand in awe of your presence. Untill then I will make the best of everything I have here. I will make sure Dad knows he is loved. My siblings will never doubt that we are bound by love. My husband can bask in the knowledge that I do not come from a broken home and will never break mine. My children will know who I am.

There is an addition to the family on the way. September I will be a grand-mother! Yes, your baby is that old!  I will once again wonder your thoughts, especially on being a great-grandmother! Would we have laughed over a glass or two of wine how my boy has aged us and yet made us so happy?  Dad is excited to be a great grandparent, especially since the precious little one is a girl! Hey! remember I was the last girl born on this side of the family.

Happy Mother’s Day

Love Sue

Does a name really matter?

Sometime I have to laugh, cause everything is always about me!

If you read this blog, you know my oldest son is having a baby! Yes folks he is making me a Grand-mother. I love the sound of Grand-mother, really I do ..but I hope the little one calls me something less old  like mee-ma..gee-ma or Grammy. I am not old and refuse a name  associated with age..after all I only wear depends because I’m always on the go! (just joking….I have a few more years before my bladder betrays me).  I have a while before any name is spoken, the little package is due on September 16, and probably won’t call me much of anything untill March or April!

Last week they found out what gender the baby is!! As you may also know I am a Facebook creeper. I started that page a while ago, hoping to use it as a writing platform but it ended up being pure entertainment. So when my son posted the sonogram picture and revealed the gender, I of course tagged the photo and posted it to my wall. (sorry if you’re not a “facebooker” and don’t know the terms) I received many, many comments mostly congratulating me! Now I know its customary to congratulate the whole family, but they were congratulating me on the gender!!!  I should have felt bad for my son and (sniff…sniff) daughter-in-law to be, but did I?….NOPE!

If you read this blog you also know I have 3 boys. The oldest being 22, middle 18 and little one 5. I am so proud of them and they are all my miracles. When I was pregnant with the little one, everyone hoped and thought he was a girl. I knew he was indeed a boy, and could not have been happier. When the sonogram revealed what I knew, I have to be honest and tell you that my husband was momentarily disappointed. He wanted Daddy”s little girl. My poor husband even had a girl’s name dancing around in his head. I felt bad for him but was very pleased for myself, I had two older boys and kind of sort of knew what to do, why want the unknown?

So with each congratulation, my smile got brighter.  Then the phone calls started… My son and his wife’s to be news turned into my news and all about how happy I must be.  My father, my boy’s Grandfather even congratulated me!  Each time I was able to tell someone who did not read it on their news feed (another Facebook term) or hear from a friend of a friend my feathers began to spread. I was so proud of myself.  I know… I did nothing to be proud of, but hey if everyone thinks it so be it!

I heard myself telling my son and daughter-in-law to be, that they have redeemed themselves and are (for now) the favourite, even above Daisy (my dog). I knew those words were wrong but I did not care.  After all this was about me!

So in true Gee-Ma fashion I headed straight to the store and purchased every ***PINK*** baby item available!!!!!!!!!! Finally a GIRL!

Hey, I love my boys more than words could ever express, but into every life should come a little pink!  (Come on now, I’m a writing mom so that counts for a lot)

Am I A Writer?

Am I a writer?

I write every day. I gather information and write about it. I draw from my memory and write about it. I engulf in  my surroundings and write about it. I observe my children and think of the worst that could happen and yes…write about it. Lately I get out there and discover what new things  to do in my town and write about it.

I am working on a cover letter, umm! writing a cover letter that is.  I think I have mastered the art of writing a query letter and trying my hardest at all the new crap one has to write in order to be considered for an agent/publisher.  I use the words write, writer, written…PLEASE LET ME WRITE THIS..an awful lot!

I consume massive amounts of caffeine and write endlessly  about how I miss the drag of a cigarette. My personal space is filled with post-it notes in every color, scraps of paper, spiral notebooks, pens, magazines and paper back books. My number one reference book, alongside my dictionary …Stephen Kings, On Writing…has seen better days!  My back aches from sitting in one position for endless amounts of words. I ignore my house chores and at times my family. I am filled with guilt from ignoring them and get just as full from ignoring my muse. I even drink an occasional glass ( or 3 or 4) of wine.

I read often and try to read many different genres. I can’t help but stay with what entertains me or pulls me into the pages. I am a writers magazine junky , always looking for advise or ways to improve. I was a “how to” junkie untill I realized I could write a “how to” on collecting “how to’s” (omg! does that make any sence?) I was given a shirt that says “shut up and write”. (I think someone was trying to tell me something).  Oh! and I think I have carpel tunnel!

I do not know if the above makes me a writer. But I know I love it all!

What inspires me to be dark.

My head is spinning!

I have said many times that I write about my family(my 3 boys).  Most of what I have written and honored enough to have published is the dark side of my family.  My dark thoughts,  fears,  worries and  observation of the dark side of extended family members!  My story of  “The Family” is the deepest darkest fear I have which  I managed to turn into reality for my poor characters during  several chapters. What makes my head spin is the fact that in one afternoon I can write the joys and challenges of family, then turn the joy upside down.  I scare myself! Am I really that twisted?

I guess the answer to my own question is…NO.  I am just a simple fiction writer who can also tell you a true story or two.  My boys are the most fascinating creations and they are the ones who fill me with material.  If I ever make it as a professional writer I will have to confess that I owe everything to them.  And maybe those family members that I see through! Oops! should I have admitted that?, I can not see through anyone, my family is the salt of the earth…what I see is a made up world I create!! (I swear).

Soon there will be an addition to my  family who is sure to give me years of material!! In September I will be  a grand-mother. (one more week folks and we find out if the little precious one is a girl or boy) The fact that I will be  a grand-mother has given me endless material!

I am spinning with excitement and not so fearful of the other shoe dropping because that will only give me additional material to spin into a story or two!!!

That’s all I have for today…little one is sick with fever and not so understanding of  “moms work”!

Just looking for a pat on my back.

So maybe I am searching for a pat on the back!  All these years that I have been writing I dreamed of being a columnist.  My dream is in the palm of my hand…a local magazine has picked up 2 of my articles and expressed serious interest in a monthly contribution.  The magazine is a family based one …right up my ally…I have a family!  The only thing that kind of made we want to decline was that they had the nerve to ask for a picture of me and my little guy! How dare they?, they know I have 3 boys because that is what I write about!! Then the publisher…(yes my publisher)…says to me,that all columnists pictures are on top of their column. (yes..yes..yes…I had to be picked up off the floor).  Sorry older boys… mom loves you but a dream is a dream!

The magazine is available in every corner store, everywhere children attend (schools,hospitals, movies, playgrounds, zoo…you get the point) and of course mailed to your home if you have a subscription.  I live on a small island where each town is like a high school group. You know…the jocks, nerds, rebels, cheerleaders, popular and so on! I am not sure where I fit in or even if I do, but just like high school they know and talk about everyone in the other groups and even amongst their own.  So truth be told I am a bit nervous about what the response will be.  People I chose to know are very aware that I am a writer, those I did not tell I did so for a reason.  I know as a writer my work is always being judged and critiqued and honestly I love it…but not from a toxic uneducated “high schooler”!

“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt.” Who the heck said so? Come on now we all know words definitely do hurt!   As a writer words are all I have.  I rather be judged by strangers than so-called friends and even some family members.  Strangers will judge only my words not what they think are behind them.  The toxic people will devour my confidence. We all know the type…the backhanded complimenter, the jealous, the cut you downer, the know it all, the joker, and the down right bullshitting liar!

I trust only a handful of people with my words.  Those few are brutally honest, educated and can contribute to what I missed.  I was so excited about the magazine that I mistakenly told some toxic people.  Of course after speaking to them I wanted to call the publisher (my publisher) and beg him not to print the article and to destroy the picture!  I read my words over and over to the point of  insanity…trying to add, take out, or  completely  rewrite.  After the fourth (5,6 or 7th) glass of wine I stepped away from the key board.  Through my hung over, head pounding limited vision (because some how I lost my glasses from the couch to my bed) I once again read the e-mail confirming the article (my article) print date and a request for more.  Ah! the return of excitement!  Those toxic people can kiss my ass as I turn the other cheek!

So yes, I was looking for a pat on my back! It took me a bit long to realize by seeking such from the wrong type I got exactly what I deserved!

Don’t talk to strangers

My little prince attends pre-school (pre-kindergarten).  I am not required by law to send him, but my sanity requires it!  He is an advanced  young prince. His fifth birthday was the beginning of February, by that time he was reading and writing better than some first graders. His teacher‘s wanted him tested for advanced kindergarten classes but as smart as he is as shy as he is!

We talked about the test for weeks! Not prepping him at all, the purpose of the test was to see how advanced he is, not what advances mom could teach him! So I explained the procedure over and over. Especially about the part of mom not being able to be in the class with him!  My little smart prince led me to believe he understood and was fully prepared to take the test. Being that I have two much older boys, I should have known better!

The night before test:

We went over the procedure again! Talked during dinner how first we had to sign in, find a seat and wait to be called. While taking a bath, I informed him how he was able to use his favorite spider man pencil and eraser. Enjoying a small snack, my husband made him understand that mom would in the same building but not in the room, he and the teacher were the only ones allowed in the room. They even joked about why, because mom may try to give him an answer.  I made up a bed time story about a little boy who had to leave his mom and dad and go with a trusted teacher to help her make up a new game for the class! He even repeated most of the story to me.

Morning of test:

I woke my little prince early so he could lounge around for a while and have a hearty breakfast.  While cooking his eggs and pancakes I went over what the procedure, again repeating the story about the boy who had to help his teacher make up a game without his mom! He was happy for that little boy, telling me how he was going to help the teacher make a game after he took the test.  Inside I panic a little about what the teacher would say to him and how I would look like a liar. Then I realized…hey the story was made up, he understands fairy tales…! And did he just say “after the test”?

Car ride to test site:

Again talked him through the procedure and how mom was going to be waiting for him in the same building! My little prince was ready for his test. I was proudly taking him to be tested so the board of education would recognize  how smart he is. We held hands making plans for the rest of that day!

Walking up to the building:

We arrived a bit early! Sitting in the cold crisp air I assured him I would be in the building waiting for him with all the other moms. I told him the test would take about the length of time as his favorite television show.

Signing in and finding a seat:

There was only about a half-dozen other moms and children there to take the test. When my little prince saw strange faces he immediately wanted to leave. I worked my magic and got him to sign his name next to mine and allowed him to sit on my lap waiting for his name to be called.  The gentlemen in charge spoke briefly on the advantages of passing the test and what to expect in the coming years from the board of education. Then he spoke to the children about the procedure. Everything that I have been prepping him on was repeated.  Juice was offered while we waited, my little prince took full advantage!

His name called:

I led him by the hand to the waiting teacher. She introduced herself and appeared pleased to meet him. She took the time to realize he was a bit apprehensive then  sat with him to make him more comfortable with her.  Since he took advantage of the juice offered he now had to full bladder. The teacher tried to walk him to the bathroom. This was not going to happen easily. They allowed me to leave the designated parent area and accompany him. This must have given my little prince false hope. In the bathroom he begged me to go with him and the teacher. The look in his big brown eyes melted my heart.

Leaving the bathroom:

He held onto my hand the tightest he has ever. The teacher was standing by the door waiting for him. He saw her and began to hide behind me. She reached for his other hand. I tried to let go of the other and quickly return to the parent area. He grabbed my pant leg, I was wearing sweat pants, if I continued in route I’m sure my choice of panties would have been revealed!  I begged and pleaded with him but he was not leaving my side. I even tried the “mean mommy” attitude but my heart was breaking.

People came from every corner of the building trying to calm my prince down. I was trying to get our coats on and make a quick exit. The kind teacher was still trying to convince him to take the test. I wanted to stop the scene and ask her if she was serious…or as everyone says “REALLY?”  Did she not realize all effort was lost, he was in a break down and I was about to start my own? Others were trying to escort me out the door, telling me I have created a disturbance for the students taking the test! Were they kidding me?  If my little prince was not so upset I would have truly caused a disturbance! I created a disturbance? No…No! Is it disturbing that my boy loves me and did not feel comfortable leaving my side to go with a stranger? A disturbance would have been the foul things twirling around in my head spilling out of my mouth!

This was a situation all about my little prince, but not of my own doing they now made it all about me! Did they know that is the way everything should be? Or were they trying to provoke me?

Car ride home:

I must be honest and tell you that I was slightly angry. I wanted, needed him to take that test. I guess every parent wants validation about their child. I had to pull over and step outside the car. I phoned my husband and had a little break down. He tried so hard, telling me that my little prince is still young and very shy. This I knew but for a while I honestly did not care!  It was my son who snapped me into reality.

“Mommy I just didn’t know anyone, I’m not supposed to talk to strangers”

How can I be mad now? How can any one argue with that?

Taking a hike

 

 

I recently took my little one to our local nature trail.  Here on the east coast it is supposed to be spring but mother nature is not cooperating, still I had enough of the indoors.  I know that the trees and most flowers will bloom no matter the weather, it’s all timing! I figured he was old enough to appreciate the 90+ acres our little suburb had to offer.  We collected leaves, sticks and what he thought to be fossils!  I think I took more pictures of him in that one afternoon than I did my oldest 22 yrs of life!  We played explorers, animal rescuers and rested for a picnic lunch.  He recapped his adventure that night during family dinner.

When he heard that I also took his brothers when they were young, he was so angry and upset.  He likes to think they were always the age they are now, he is the only little prince there ever was!  My middle one tried to comfort him but ended up tearing my heart out!  He had the nerve to tell his baby brother in front of me, that he and his older brother would only go to High Rock to pass the time until Dad got home!! Can you imagine my middle one, the one who was the baby for 13 years, saying such a thing?  Well as you know everything is always about me… I could not speak, breath, not a thing could I do but sob.  I cherished those times, they are my memories of the best times with my boys.  Back then I was full of energy and could relate to youth a bit more than I do now.  We would designate specific areas and play hide and seek for hours which would turn into man hunt (hide and seek in the dark with a flash light). They never wanted to leave, not even when tummies would growl!  I would have to make up lies to get them home.  My husband came a few times but the boys led me to believe that it was more fun with just mom!

 

I cleared the dinner mess insisting I needed no help and retrieved to my room to be alone!  Knowing my act would get the middle one to come and talk.  It worked!…”Ma, I was lying, you know I was. I felt bad for the baby and that was the first thing that popped into my head”…he said as he hugged me.  I knew it was a lie.  How could those times me faked? But I was enjoying him feeling bad.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy him feeling bad (I think) I just enjoy hearing the memories I cherish he does too!

 

I wonder though if part of it was true?  Did they just go with the flow waiting for Dad?  Do I dare get to the truth? Do I really want an answer? …NOPE!!… I will cherish my memories and let them have theirs.  I just hope they never cross again.   I will enjoy making new ones with my little guy.  I like my foggy world.  I will not admit to them that there are days that I too just go with the flow, pass the time until my husband comes home. (shh!)

 

My first is expecting his first in September!  He already has it planned to walk along the now paved trail pushing the stroller anticipating someday he playing hide and seek with his child!  He should know me by now!  I will be right along side him. Yes, because that is my grand-baby and she/he will know everything is always about me, even making memories!