Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Everyday Life: Writing Books

"Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses."
-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
A small, newly-found voice emerges from the top of the stairs at 7:52 p.m., 30 minutes past bedtime. He jabbers away as he one-foot-two-foots down the stairs, mixing up his conversation with words we recognize as well as ones we don't yet know.

His feet runrunthumpthumprunthump across the wooden floor until he reaches the space in which I'm perched trying to write away the day and the thoughts and the growth I've been feeling stretch out across my bones.

Maaameeee! he exclaims and throws his body atop of the couch cushions like a surfer mounts his board. In seconds, I am the wave beneath his body.

He presses his forehead against my own and gently smooshes my cheeks in between his toddler hands.

"Oh, hello," I say. "Isn't it bedtime?"

I silently think about everything that's left to be done, including a book chapter that needs to be written, before I can go to bed and am tempted to scoot him right back to my husband.

He kisses my mouth and says, "O, halllo!" before snuggling his little rear next to my own and finally pressing his body into the curves of my own all while making the time that was my own into ours.

I only try to type for about 30 seconds before I abandon writing my life out loud and shut the lid to my computer instead choosing to write a few words on his heart.

I snuggle him as we talk, deeply converse about the pressing issues of the moment.

No, we're not having a snack.

Sack, he echoes as he shakes his head no.

But we can read a book.

Book, he says crisp, staccato like a short note struck against keys.

We talk a bit more until he begins rubbing his eyes; it's then that I send him back to daddy for good-night snuggles.

He won't remember what we talked about tonight; he is only two and a half.

I probably won't either, and I'm 29.

But I hope that those few sentences translated themselves into the message that I'm trying {oh, God, help me to write well} to continually etch onto his and his brother and his father's hearts --

that they -- these eternal souls -- are the most worthy recipients of my time, my love, my care


that the story of this family

is the most important book I'll ever write* during this assignment from the Great Editor and Chief.

*Sally Clarkson gave these words to a roomful of hungry ears during a conference breakout session at Relevant '11, and her words have deeply impressed my heart.