Thursday, June 20, 2013

Baby Steps

I was 'Instanting Messaging' with an online friend a while ago. I was, once again, encouraging her to take the leap and submit.She insisted that her 'Baby' wasn't quite ready.
 It reminded me about when my girlfriend's oldest child started kindergarten.

She was sure that her son was going to be miserable without her. After all, he'd gone to work with her since he was born. She was lucky enough to own her own business. Plus her office staff consisted of her father, sister, and me.

She worried about leaving the little boy at school -- convinced he would end up in therapy for years. She -- who never agonized over anything -- had, well, basically turned into me. And I'm a born worrier. I might even have some kind of worry-record.

After weeks of anxiety, the day arrived. She pulled up in front of the school as if she was going to her own funeral. She spent twenty minutes talking to her son about how much she and daddy loved  him. And how it didn't matter if he didn't make friends right away.

Finally, traffic was backing up and other parents -- cold, hard, heartless parents -- were anxious to drop their off-springs off and get on with their own day. After the fourth or fifth angry honking spasm, she accepted that the time had come.

Defying precedent, she took him from the car, and left in, blocking a good portion of the driveway, and led him up the steps, through the double doors, and into his classroom. Maintaining her hold on his hand like grim death, She explained how nervous 'he' was, presented the teacher with a sheath of notes, telephone numbers, and her schedule for the next month.

A teacher's aide helped the kindergarten teacher break my friend's hold on the boy and took him to a group of kids sitting on the floor playing. With her heart fit to break, she was backing slowly in the general direction of the door, when she realized she hadn't given her child a final kiss. But, from the faces of the teacher and her aide, she was pretty sure they were considering calling security.

So, in a tenuous voice, she called to him, once again assuring him that she loved him and would be back for him soon. And, as she backed into the door-frame, because her eyes were fixed on her son, he gave her a half-hearted wave over his shoulder and went on playing with his brand new friends.

The moral of the story is 'sure, we're all scared when confronted with something new.' But, until you take that first baby step, we're just stuck in that carpool line.

So, grow up and submit that manuscript. Who knows? You might realize your dream.


  1. Great blog and even better advice.

  2. I loved your blog, Jordan. My first child held on to my hand and I pried it loose. My second child couldn't get out of the car fast enough the first day. It is hard to break away and do something we haven't done before.

    Someone we both know, who shall remain nameless, is always trying to talk me out of my comfort zone. I'm sorry, but I resist screaming and kicking. I like my comfort zone. He is a sly one, though, so I expect the screaming and kicking won't work too much longer.

    I also want to tell you that I am finding your new book about Lizzie Borden to be absolutely riveting. You've made her story so interesting that I think anyone who has wondered about Lizzie needs to read it. Brava, my friend!

  3. Is that about me?...*Sniffs and pats her baby on the head and assures it will will go to kindergarten when its good and ready*