Writing on Babies
A favorite southern friend of mine from my university days (Donn Cooper) just published a piece (not his first) in the latest issue of Oxford American, “The Southern Magazine of Good Writing,” my absolute favorite mag. I have grinned like a possum all morning. I’m so proud, and goodness, it has given me the bug.
I’ve been at the computer all morning gleaning from little poems and nonfiction tidbits. I can tap completely out of this mess, these wonderful babies, my swollen belly and sore hips. I know that I will write again because I long for that intense solitude and honest fiction sometimes in a way that scares me staight to sacrificial passages in the Bible, only because I know it’s not my time.
I look up from the screen, and Jude, who is 11 months old, has a broom and is trying to sweep the kitchen floor. For the first time, he has walked today more than he has crawled. He takes a step and then claps for himself. This is mostly because I have not been watching, and sometimes we all need to feel we have an audience to keep us going.
Could that be why I want to write again? This little audience I have loves my bad breath and doesn’t notice my mediocrity. If I receive a readership, does that mean I am called to some higher standard of attention to detail or to my outward or inward persona? This is so convicting — that I am called to draw attention for my children, to teach them perspective, help them learn to conclude and to appreciate. I am still a writer, in a way, though not in charge of the final draft.