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I Think I’d Rather Talk About Reproduction

I spent the first half of the drive home from a friend’s house explaining why the moon looks the way it looks on any given night. I think I did a decent job of explaining the difference between waxing and waning, how the moon doesn’t “shine” on its own, and a number of other complex solar system based questions I wasn’t prepared to answer this evening.

But at least I got a reprieve from questions about reproduction, right?

“Mommy, I have a question,” BigBrother chirped as he stared at the moon.

Oh dear. More reproduction? I cringed. “Yes, Buddy?”

“How do people write all the things in a book, like characters and stuff?”

I exhaled. Books! Writing! Things I know more about than phases of the moon and the solar system and how the sperm really reaches an egg. YES!

“Well, Buddy, a writer — you know, like mommy — works hard to come up with the characters and story and plot and all that jazz to make it interesting for readers like you. Then an editor — also like mommy — checks everything the writer wrote for things like commas and proper spelling and all the other grammar stuff that I talk to you about when you’re writing sentences.”

“Have you written a book yet?”

Well, dang, kid. Way to call me out.

“Uh. Well, I am working on a book.”

“What do you mean working on it?”

“You know… I’m working on writing it.”

“Well, why don’t you just write it?”

I don’t know. Because I work a full time job? Because I chauffer you to soccer practice and children’s choir and library class and baseball and so on? Because I try to spend time with my husband, your father? Because I try to spend time with our other family members? Because I like to be involved with community things like our church and theater and politics? Because photography is also a passion of mine? Because I’m really good at making excuses?

“I’m… busy.”

“We can help you.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. I mean, I don’t know where all of the commas go yet, but I can learn.”

“Me too,” chimed in LittleBrother.

Nothing makes you want to pull the car over and cry into the Subway napkin you fish out of your center console more than your two sons offering to help you write your book.

“That’s nice, boys. I’ll write it someday. I promise.”

“I bet I’ll know more about grammar when I’m 12!”

“Yeah! And when I’m 10!”

“So, in four years and two months, I have to have my book finished for you to edit?”

“YES,” came the answer from the back seat.

Well then. I better start writing.

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