Wanted: Crazy person with time on hands

And I don’t mean wearing a watch. *cymbals*

I was just sitting here waiting for my configuration documents to print so I could hand-edit them (just shy of one hundred Excel worksheets, thank you very much) and thinking of all the things I meant to do today/this week/this month/this lifetime, and realized that a Franklin Covey seminar just ain’t gonna get me there just yet. I am Covey’s A-Number-One Cliché: the person too busy to plan her days.

I know that’s a load of shit, but isn’t recognizing it an important first step?

So here’s how my train of thought went: Finally, finally, the kids are in bed and I can do what I’ve been wanting to do all evening: go outside to the now-cool patio and sit under the stars and the wisteria, red pen in hand, sipping wine and marking up my documents. And then I looked up and realized it’s pitch dark out there and I would need to put on the klieg lights which would totally kill the mood. And then I thought I’d fix some of my templates, since like seventeeny links don’t work on this site, but then that would mean reading code and not my docs. But something needs to be done because some perv is googling a certain photo of Dylan and taking it down isn’t enough for me. I want to find this person and report it.

And then I thought, gee, Mindy, when are you going to stop tinkering and actually write something of substance? I mean, you’re the laziest writer on DotMoms, it must be only because of sheer overwhelm that the competent people over there haven’t booted my ass by now. And I answer back to myself, gee, Einstein, if I could write something of substance, don’t you think I would be writing the back story for my book? Most of the work is done, you just need to put in the mortar and make sure it’s habitable. And for God’s sake, woman, you can’t write the bloody thing and call it complete unless you sit down and write Dylan’s story.

Wanting to write Dylan’s story is the whole reason I started this online journal. It was a originally a Word document I started on February 14, 2002, the day Daphne was due. I knew I’d have crazy new mommy disease and would never get it down if I didn’t get started. The trouble was that it was one file on one computer. If I were at another computer, I couldn’t work on it and wound up with competing versions. Yeah, I hate that too. So I looked around and found that the web host I was using for my pathetic first family site had this newfangled thing called a web log. Finally! A place on the Internet! All my problems were solved.

Except I still couldn’t bring myself to write Dylan’s story.

Just fifteen minutes ago, I heard little steps that stopped at the doorway. Dylan. I asked him if there was something wrong and he started telling me that the train catalog we picked up at the toy store was too boring to read and that he didn’t want me to buy it for him. “Dude. I didn’t buy it. It was free. Throw it away if you don’t want it.” I was impatiently trying to print everything out and he wasn’t going back to his room. I sighed and called over my shoulder that he’d never wake up in time for the dentist if he didn’t get back to bed.  I heard him turn and scuffle away slowly, muttering, “I just wanted to talk to you some more.”

I melted. “Come here, baby, and sit in my arms and talk to me.” And he did.

He studies these Thomas the Tank Engine leaflets as if they were racing forms. He flipped through the pages and showed me that there were two Scruffys, one with orange wheels and one with black. He thinks it’s a mistake. I wouldn’t doubt it—he’s the one who pointed out to us that there was inconsistency between how the TV show numbered the engines and how the books and trains were numbered. He also brought me “The Little Ladybug” last week to say that the author must have had birds on his mind because on one page he called her the little ladybird. I’ve read that book one hundred times and never even noticed.

How many of his stories have I told already just like that one? Do any of them even give you a clue about the extent to which I love this child, how protective I feel, how I want him to feel safe, just as much as I do the others but especially him because God gave him back to me and I don’t want to fuck up this second chance?

For those who have not read long, I’ve talked about how he nearly died of myocarditis as a newborn and was in Level 4 care at the Stanford NICU in an induced coma for three weeks. It was an astounding and devastating period, one that defined so many moments, revealed so many paths and mistakes, and put me on the path to where I am today. It was life-altering for all of us; we just don’t think of it that way because the effects took place over months and years. The week he stopped breathing was the week my life took a right-angle turn and put me right here in this chair tonight, listening to the printer and wondering how to solve this particular procrastination problem I have.

Here it is: I need help writing that story. Obviously, I can’t write that interlude by myself with any sort of objectivity. I am too afraid of what might come leaking out around the edges, that I wouldn’t be able to seal it tightly enough to keep from hurting people. From hurting me.

So, would anyone like to write this part with me? I’ll talk and talk, and you can lace it together. I’m dead serious. If there is someone willing to take this on who can write well and can capture my voice, I’ll credit the source and publish it here first, as well as in the book when I finally get it to print.

What do you think? Am I crazy? How else is this going to get done with maximum grace and minimal gloss?

Looks like I have plenty of local takers! I didn’t mean to offend by not asking Mom or Phil or any other writer I know personally… I just thought it would be a kick-start. Bah. Carry on.

7 replies
  1. The Sarah Beast
    The Sarah Beast says:

    Hey Mindy,
    Can’t help you with the Dylan story (though as a long-time reader/lurker I would love to read it) but I CAN help you with the ladybird thang. It wasn’t the author’s fault, more whoever Americanised the book – ladybirds are what we crazy Brits call ladybugs, so I’m guessing some poor editor wasn’t getting enough sleep and missed that one.

    Back to lurking… :)

  2. mitchell042800
    mitchell042800 says:

    Everyday that I read your blog I realize why I come back. You are such a wonderful writer but, most importantly you are a wonderful mom. You show such love for you children. I am sorry that you had to endure all of that. The good is it makes you appreciate every smile, laugh and also tears. Keep writing the way you do and know that their are readers out here who wait with anticipation for your next post.

  3. Trudy
    Trudy says:

    As far as Dylan’s story goes, maybe you could dictate it for now and just have it in recorded form until you feel up to doing the spit-and-polish routine on it. I’m no writer so I can’t help you there, but if there’s anything I can do to help catch the SICK PERVERT that is googling pictures of little kids, please let me know. My stomach lurched when I read that part of your post.

  4. kelly
    kelly says:

    Mindy, I’ would so love to jump up and say YES ME! I want to help you write this story. But I think I’m taking a full-time job, and just got a paid blogging gig, and uh, I think I hold the position of laziest dotmoms writer, ever…but if the job falls through? I’m calling you.

  5. Imperfect Mommy
    Imperfect Mommy says:

    I think your Mom or Phil would be great choices… it’s strange, I haven’t read so much emotion in your words in a long time, so I think a family member would be most able to capture that.  And I can only imagine what it must have been like to go through that—we had a major case of jaundice and I know how traumatic that was.

  6. jen
    jen says:

    You’re not alone in not being able to write about traumatic things. Three years ago my oldest, then just seven, crashed quickly from a fast-moving pneumonia. One day he was having his Harry Potter birthday party. the next day he said he had a stomach ache, and 48 hours after that, he was on a high-pressure ventilator, in an induced coma having just coded and we were told there were no guarantees – about survival, about brain damage, other injuries during the code. There were 14 tubes going in and out of his body. They sent the pastoral care team into sit with us because they didn’t think he would make it. He went on to have a part of his lung removed several days later, and on and on for a few weeks. Although I kept something like a journal during those surreal days, I’ve never been able to really write about it. I’ve wanted to. I’ve sat down and tried, but I just can’t . Something about it – and additional traumas in the following months – is still too much. I haven’t been able to write much of anything since then, really. I make notes on things I want to write about, but that’s about all I can manage.

    I identify with the feelings related to God giving my son back to me and not wanting to mess up the 2nd chance. Loving the other children just as much, but it being somehow different. Thoughts that go through my head everyday.

    Did you bargain with God during those dark hours? I did.

    Give yourself a break. I know you want to write the story, but you’re not ready yet.

    (my son – now ten – is absolutely fine …plays baseball, sails, does well in school, pesters his younger brother and dotes on his younger sister. every moment is a blessing.)

  7. Lindsay
    Lindsay says:

    Gee whiz, you’re a wonderful writer.  And this post made me feel much better in one small way.  Until now, I thought I was the laziest writer at Dot Moms.  Good to know I’m not alone.  ;)

    Good luck with the Dylan story.

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