The Waiting Place

"The Waiting Place . . . for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."

-Dr. Suess, Oh, The Places You'll Go

Like 80% or better of the world's population, I relate to several specific points in this passage. I wait for many things, but I do not presently feel any pressure to be impatient about most of what I wait for--a slightly larger house, a life-change for a family member, a successful career (whatever it may be). That could change tomorrow because I am human and by nature, not really very patient. However, there are two things I feel a bit antsy in my pantsies about--SLEEP and progress with my novel.

Sleep is of primary importance. After six months of not sleeping through even one entire night, I'm feeling a little worn down. I takes me at least five seconds to process and respond to simple questions such as "How old will your husband be this year?" and "What is your phone number?" and "What is your first name?" My feet are dragging, and I am late for everything regardless of when I get up. I just can't move with speed anymore. My lack of sleep has also made me delusional. Last Saturday, I was on my way to a birthday party in Ruston, when I decided I would find a shorter route to my destination by taking a road I had never even been on, much less driven. If I had been in my well-rested, right mind, I never would have attempted this because I have been known to get lost driving home. Anyway, I finally called for help when I realized I was over halfway to Homer, Louisiana. With the combined efforts of my husband, the On-Star emergency service (whom I accidentally called) and the On-Star navigation personnel, I found my way back to the interstate, and arrived an hour late for the birthday party. Lack of sleep is also making me mean. I'm really a kind, loving wife, but I've become snappy and short and a little bit contentious. Poor Brandon. Thankfully, my mom stayed last night to give me a reprieve from what I've begun referring to as "six-a-nights," which I imagine are almost as bad as "two-a-days" for football players. Micah wakes up to six times a night to have the pacifier put back in his mouth or to be comforted. The poor little guy is gassy and teething, and having a very hard time. I feel better today, and am looking forward to mom taking "six-a-night" duty next weekend, which leads to the next thing I'm waiting for.

I knew when I began writing my book a few weeks ago that it would be slow because I have a four-month-old son, but I wasn't yet anticipating the looming challenges of teething and general gassyness. As opposed to my baby two months ago, I now have a baby who needs lots of attention during the day and is too uncomfortable to sleep through the night. When I actually DO sit down to write, the creative part of my brain refuses to work. It just sits there, stagnant and pouting and feeling sorry for itself because it also has to get up six times a night and work hard throughout the day to come up with various ideas to get my son's mind off of his inflamed little gums. Moreover, my book is set in a real location that I will be visiting this weekend. I feel that I need to let this place speak to me, tell me its story before I can move on. I'm bringing reinforcements (Brandon and Grandma) to help with Micah so the place will have its chance to say all it needs to say. So this week, I'm in the Suessian Waiting Place with my novel, just waiting. And I am really hoping to get enough rest this week so the creative part of my brain will be alert enough to interpret all that it will hear this weekend. I'm not expecting the floodgates to magically open after this visit because when I leave, I will still have a beautiful baby boy who is my primary responsibility. However, I do believe that I will see the shape of the story I want to tell. Maybe with a little of this coming sleep I've been repeatedly promised by moms who have been doing this thing much longer than me, I will begin to witness that beautiful and illusive thing "they" call progress. In the meantime, I will enjoy the most beautiful thing in my life, the one I waited for almost five years.

Oh, the places you'll go, my little one. Just don't go there too fast.