Turning Points

“Boys, I have a phone call with a publisher.  Do you remember what publishers do?”

“Yes, they make books.”

“Right.  And I need to be uninterrupted until I am off the phone and I come out of my office.  Deal?”

“Got it.”
“Yes.”
“I promise and I swear.”
“And this time we really mean it.”

Excellent.

Insert writer in her office for closed-door conference calls with agent, editors, negotiations, promises, questions, and answers.

Meanwhile, I hear “Mommmy!  Mommmmmyyyyyyy!  Mommy!”

(That last one is staccato.  All of them are shrill screams that I choose to ignore in lieu of the most important phone calls I’ve had – ever.)

Tyler storms into my office, and I wonder why I never asked Robb to install a lock on the inside of this door.  Oh, wait.  Because this office used to be a nursery.

“Mommy!  Why are you not answering us?!”

I turn my swivel chair to him, bear my teeth, and point to the phone.

“Oh, that’s right.  I forgot, Mommy.”

He quietly leaves, only for the revolving door to open seconds later for Tucker.  The older and wiser of the two, he mouths his words to me.  But I can’t read his lips, I don’t know what he wants, and also – I asked not to be disturbed at all, for any reason, barring blood.
And it would really need to be a lot of blood.  That would be the only reason I would leave this phone call right now.

I give Tuck a silent nod that says, “Whatever.  Whatever it is.  Whatever.  Yes.  Or no.  I don’t know.  Dude, please.”

He holds up two snacks, asking me to approve one.  And this is when I point to the door.

Out, my precious child.  Out.

I wonder how many authors have such conversations, actual turning points in their dreams come true, during which she must also manage the children’s snacks, movie choices, and ceaseless interruptions, all the while maintaning a firm hold on her inner professional voice.

Surely I am not alone.

I finish the phone calls (which went well, by the way – these discussions are the very definition of ‘beyond what I could ask or imagine’) to find my little men sitting in the living room, eating yogurt and blueberries, watching Garfield.

Score.

I kiss each boy on his head.  Thank you, I whisper, to my sons and to our God.

I slip up to my bedroom, and I turn on my ipod so I may worship the God who is faithful, holy, mighty beyond comprehension, and worthy of my entire life’s work.  This literary, professional excitement can only be attributed to the unstoppable forces of the gale winds of the Holy Spirit.

How great is our God.
Sing with me,
how great is our God.
And all will see how great – how great – is our God.

The song ends with my eyes closed, my hands raised, my heart enraptured.

Before I can open my eyes, two little boys squirt me in the back with a water gun.

There is no season quite like this one.

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13 thoughts on “Turning Points

  1. Love this so much…. publishing contracts/books/speaking all began for me when I was your age with little ones. Oh, the stories of trying to maintain professional poise with little ones about. Remind me to tell you the time I was on a live radio interview, and Gabe came in my office (we lived on a lake) with a big honkin’ bass on the end of his fishing pole. He nearly slapped me in the face with his catch o’ the day…. mid-sentence…and I somehow kept talking…

  2. Love this story! Reminds me of when my two youngest boys were ages 2 and 3. I work/worked from my home office as a lawyer. I actually had a court hearing via telephone. Judge and clients and opposing attorney were on the phone. I corralled the boys in to the back yard, naively thinking they’d be safe and I’d be free from distraction for this 10 minute hearing. Three minutes in to the hearing, I look out the window just in time to see a naked butt go over the back yard fence, heading for the street. I was so shocked, all I could think of to do was to hang up the phone. So I did. I corralled the kid once more, in the house this time, and then called back and feigned a phone problem. Oh, I’m so sorry, it must have been a bad connection. Let’s try this again . . .

  3. I love this. You have a way of giving a great picture of life as a juggler. I love dealing with the kids who forgot about the phone call and you were dealing with them at the dame time as having a professional phone call and all the strategic discussions that can entail.

    Love the worship time alone … until the attack of your boys. Thanks do much for sharing this story! I pray blessings on your family and may you continue to have real life experiences to enrich your time with your boys! Have a blessed summer!

  4. Haha! The ending made me laugh out loud. Sigh. The life of a Mama! I’m praying everything works out really well for you and the boys!

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