The Mother Who Sits

We rarely recognize the good that is done by a sitting mother.

IMG_00000107Christmas long ago lost some of its magic for me. It’s different when you’re the mom. I don’t look forward to it. In November I compose a mental list of all that needs to be done. Gifts. Baking. Shopping. Christmas Cards. Dinners to organize. Grocery shopping. Decorating. Tree hunting.

For me Christmas equals work, more stuff to buy than money, and a responsibility to make the holiday magical for those around me. And I know what you’re thinking—this is a depressing blog post. Don’t get me wrong. I love the looks on my kids’ faces when they open gifts. I love sharing my home with others and helping them to have a merry Christmas. I do derive some joy from it, but by the end, I’m tired. IMG_1617

There’s always so much to do and we often get praised for those accomplishments—the dinner cooked, the sweets baked, the house decorated—it’s all doing. What about being?

So this blog post is both a reminder and permission giving. I want to celebrate the mother who sits.

  • The mother who sits down to dinner with her family.
  • The mother who sits and reads her children stories.
  • The mother who sits and sings to her children.
  • The mother who sits at the bedside of a sick child.
  • The mother who sits long enough for a child to fall asleep on her lap.
  • The mother who sits and watches Christmas concerts.
  • The mother who sits and nurses a baby.
  • The mother who sits and prays for her family.

The mother who sits is an available mother and an approachable mother.

May your Christmas be filled with what’s truly important. May you disappoint some because you’re being instead of doing. May your children nestle into your side and know they’re loved.

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The First Kill is Always the Hardest

The First Kill is Always the Hardest

I still remember the first time I killed someone.death scene 2

Three years ago I was riding in my van on the way to the grocery store and the thought streaked through my mind. What if Mr. X died? My initial response: No! I didn’t want him to die. I liked him. I’d criticized other writers for being too sympathetic toward their characters. Now, here I was, doing the same thing 

death scene 4The thoughts persisted. And I resisted. The more I thought about it, though, the more a necessity it became. By the time I finished loading the groceries into my van, I was plotting his demise. death scene 1

It’s unpleasant to annihilate someone you care about. He’d been with me for two books and I was rather attached—and so was my protagonist. The scene happened to come over Christmas. I put off writing it. I already knew how he was going die, but the act of sitting down and doing it—writing out every detail, watching it through my protagonists eyes, suffering with him and her—was daunting. I decided it was best saved for after the holidays.death scene 3

So, three days after Christmas, I sat down with my computer and a box of tissues and pounded out the scene I’d been dreading. I wept, sobbed, accumulated a pile of waded tissues. I blubbered like sane people cry over real people who pass on. And then, he was gone. We held him as he died. We buried him—my protagonist and I.

I did what I had to do and the story is better for it.

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