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Cian is Four

On the day Cian was born, he stayed awake until just before midnight, only to fall asleep and be woken in the same moment by the sounds of fireworks going off outside the window of our hospital room. It had been a hectic day with a more frenetic night–he nursed constantly, and I was still trying to recover from both the c-section and the new knowledge that the end of my pregnancy could’ve ended catastrophically–it turned out that I had a uterine window so thin that when my doctor opened me up for the delivery she could actually see him through it, waiting for us. I still don’t like to type the words out loud for the memory of the fear it brings with it. But he’s here, playing beside me in his Santa Claus pajamas. A friend of mine gave him a book filled with comic book heroes (“Mom! Is dat I-don Man? He’s a super here-doe!”), and he’s enthralled. He’s incredible, and wicked smart, and talks nonstop, asking questions and giving me answers to questions I didn…

When Writing a Big Story Takes Precedence Over the Little Ones

It’s November, and I’m thisclose to finishing the first draft of my second novel. Saoirse came downstairs after bedtime last night to ask me something, and when she sat beside me on the couch and saw the number on the word counter for my manuscript, her jaw dropped open. “Whooooaaa!” she said. “MOM. You’re insane!”  She’s right, you know. Any person who lets herself get caught up in her brain like this, who obsesses over word placement and verb tense and trying to braid threads of a story together so that it makes a perfect, intricate whole, has got to have a screw loose somewhere. It’s why it’s taken me so long to get to this point. I like to pretend I’m a least a little bit of my right mind. BUT. Let’s not pretend, shall we? I have a story to tell (and one more behind it waiting to be told, but I kind of have to finish this one first. NO PROBLEM). My kids perk up when they see me hunched over my keyboard, typing. I’m…

Even Though We’re Tired

Cian doesn’t sleep at night. He climbs into the spare twin bed in Quinlan’s room because he, the third-born child, is frightened to be alone. He cries for another hug, for another nightlight, for another drink of water. At eleven o’clock, he comes into our room. At one o’clock, he comes in again. At three o’clock, he’ll appear once more, but we’ll be too tired to notice, so in a few hours we wake for the day to find his little, long form in the bed with us, wedged in between our bodies, one hand resting on a parent’s shoulder.  He doesn’t sleep. Which means we don’t, either. And then, then, after a full day of preschool and playing and chasing Riley around the house, at four-thirty in the evening, when we drive over to the school to pick the girls up from their Lego and creative writing clubs, he talks nonstop. He points out the clouds, and the cars, and asks me if skeletons have teeth. He chats about his classmates, and about Dino Trux, and if…