Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rites of Passage

Children are like books. This strikes me at the oddest times.

My oldest chicken will be thirteen this year. THIRTEEN. An official teenager.
Let me just say that I almost had a breakdown when she couldn't fit into 3T clothes anymore. I didn't understand it! How could this be? I had to buy a *gasp* 4T? WTF?
I managed this with my usual aplomb. Or something of the sort. No gory details provided.
But then it was easier for me when the other two chickens did the same. Then OC moved out of the Sesame Street clothes at K-Mart. (They only go up to 5.) I had a quick grieving period (ended last week) and have now moved on. Okay. Week before last.
OC is the pioneer of the girls. She experiences it first. Then we have the trickle-down effect. The latest Rite is shaving legs. Baby chicken will have a razor in her hot, little hands next Friday. She will be shaving her legs for the VERY first time. She's excited. I'm buying band-aids in bulk. The other two have been shaving theirs for awhile.
But this is the end of an era. There will be FOUR razors in my shower. *choke* I have to keep track of deoderant and shaving cream in multiples. Individuality, once again, reigns supreme. And Mama needs some ibuprofen.

My books are similar. The first one, I was so damn nervous that I cried when I got the contract. Everything was so new. I didn't know about editing. I didn't know about some dialogue tags. But I muddled through. I'm very proud of it, by the way. And then I finished another. And another. And somehow they weren't just MY BOOKS, they were individual products. I have characters who I sometimes can't remember their names. I remember trying to tell my Mom about The Portrait a month ago and couldn't remember the hero's name! I could remember the DOG'S name, oh sure, but not the hero's.
And the writing has grown. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own. And as much as I'm the Creator of my work, it's as individual as my children.
I wrote about a paragraph of dialogue between two characters yesterday that I had NO idea where it came from or WHO the characters where. And right before I went to bed last night, I KNEW who they were. Spooky, that.

The children and the books grow with a speed that sometimes scares the bejeezus out of me. They move through their Rites of Passage seemingly without a care or concern. But I know better. They both still need me. No matter how much the children or books THINK they know, they'll always need me to step-up as the semi-voice of reasoning and do a little guiding.
And I'm well with that. I NEED that.
Now where can I get a razor rack?


Tori Lennox said...

I am so glad I don't have kids. *g*

Jinger said...

Well try this one on sister sue. I sent my boy off to KC today to be sworn into the National Guard to prepare him for the Marines in two..count them..1...2...years. OMG!!! Its amazing I can see straight. Aside from wanting to curl up into the fetal position all day..Ive been okay......

chryscat said...

Tori: I can overnight one of these, too. Pick an age. Any age. *laughing*
Jinger: OMG! I cannot believe that! 2 years? *HUGS* It'll be okay, hon. Really.

Ceri said...

Its amazing when you suddenly find they're teens. My oldest is 15. She'll be heading off to Washington DC next month with her class. Its hard to believe that she's old enough to do these things, and it makes me so excited for her. She has Down Syndrome, so these milestones are all that more amazing for me.

Got two more lined up behind her waiting to grow up. I bet it wont be any easier with them either. *sniff*

Silma said...

I don't have kids, but I have two goddaughters. The oldest one turned 13 last year, and since then she has been harping about getting a cellphone. I told her I would when she turned 15 since I didn't think she was old enough to have one yet and deal with the responsibility. Well, her dear grandma bought her one for her b-day (she turns 14 in 6 weeks). Grrr... She has been on that darn cellphone for almost 2 days. Where's the little girl who was happy to just sit and read a book?

Lyvvie said...

Stop it - you're scaring me. My baby turns two in a couple weeks, and the Sassy-Face is seven soon after. Sassy left the house this morning with a coat that's for ages about denial!!

I'm not listening anymore...I'm off to sing a full round of Old McDonald. Lord have mercy.

Rene said...

Nice post.

I think I might be the only mom who is counting down the days for when I can kick my kids out of the house. I am, however, not looking forward to the teen years. The girls should be hitting puberty as I go pre-menopausal. It's gonna be fun.

I know what you mean about writing. That first book really does put you through the wringer. By the time you get to the fourth or so, it isn't nearly as daunting. Comparing it to kids, I remember being so conscious of everything I did with that kid. I'm so much more relaxed on those same things with my last although a whole new crop of traumus have arisen with her. I think our books become more complex and deep as we continue to write. We master the small stuff then focus on the hard problems.

Jill Monroe said...

My heart is just in pain. Sometimes I just want them to stay babies. Then, I can't wait to see what kind of person they will be.

Loved the way you put it.