If you follow my blog and/or me on Facebook or Twitter (or, God forbid, you know me in person) you know that I have a lot on my plate for November: NaNoWriMo (in which my goal is to finish a 50,000 word draft of a novel in 30 days), writing for, editing, and publishing The Tennessee Writer, the quarterly newsletter for the Tennessee Writers Alliance, due online December 1, and my article submission for Wilson Living Magazine, the gorgeous glossy published right here in Lebanon, TN, deadline by the end of November. Oh, and there's also The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet, of which I am the managing editor.
So, needless to say, even though it is only (checks date) November 3, I've been rather busy lately. Between notes and prepping and emails (I'm also in charge of gathering advertisers and publicizing the newsletter and newspaper) I've been doing the only basest of chores before shutting myself into the office, staring at the computer for around six hours between 8 p.m. and whenever, trying to get work done.
My mother has helped, my family has helped (and will help - I also have a wedding next weekend in Cincinnati), but my son, tonight, made me feel not only guilty but that all the hard work I'm doing is well worth it, because I don't do it - well, not the bulk of it - for myself: I do it for him, for my family, so that they will not only be proud of me for my accomplishments but for what my work will reap (hopefully) for myself and them in the future. So that, someday, I'll be able to repay them, in some way, for supporting, loving, and helping me during these hectic, busy days.
Tonight, after I made a hurried supper of spaghetti and oil with tomatoes and herbs, The Dude curled up in my lap and, with a full tummy and a long day at school, promptly fell asleep in my lap before 8 p.m. I waited until a commercial during "So You Think You Can Dance," which we like to watch together, and ushered him to the bathroom to pee before going to bed. He's had a bit of a bed-wetting problem lately, which I refuse to blame myself and our busy schedule and instead chalk up to a "phase" of being a four year old little boy. I tried to tuck him into bed, but instead he insisted, rather vehemently, that he sleep on the couch, just outside the door to the study.
"Honey," I coaxed, "you'll be much more comfortable in the bed. Please."
"No," he pushed my hands away, toddling, weaving, up the hall to the den. "I want to sleep on the couch. Just please let me lay on the couch."
"Baby," I whispered, covering him with the softest red blanket we have, a gift from PaTom and Nana last Christmas. "Why? Just go to bed."
"No," he muttered, settling in. "You have to work tonight, and I wanna be right here on the couch close to you in case you need something. You hafta write the novel and newsletter so if you need something, like a popsicle or something, I'm here to get it. I'll be here."
I kissed him, lingering on the warm pulse of his temple. "Thank you."
He smiled, already nearly asleep. "Yeah, Mom. Go do your fing now." He tucked his hand beneath his chin, cupping his palm against itself, exactly the way that I sleep. "I love you. You're the best mommy in the whole world."
He says this to me at least ten times a day. And every single time is better than the one before.