Why Not Now?

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I am a mom. Wow, four little words seem like too few. But truly, it wouldn’t matter how many words I used. Nothing can begin to describe what that means to me. The wonder and beauty and sometimes horror of it all… ☺

But yes, before I am anything else, I am a wife and a mother. I have three young children who were born in the span of three years and one day. And since I live in the south, there were many, many times when my kids were very small that a well-meaning older lady would pat my arm and say, “Bless your heart.” Which is southern for, “Girl, are you crazy?”

I digress. Because the questionable condition of my sanity is not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about four other words that fill me with wonder. “I am an author.” Writing books for children was a dream I always had. Mostly it lived in a part of my brain that I didn’t visit much. But every once in a while, it would stick its head up and remind me it was still there. And shortly after my third child was born, it did more than just remind me. It made a big fuss, stamped its feet and shouted; “Why not now?” And in my rather exhausted, Sesame Street-overloaded state, I agreed. And so I started to write; during naptime; after the kids were tucked in for the night and early in the morning before they got up. I wrote.

When people find out that I am an author, there is one question that comes almost immediately. “Where do you find the time?” My response is usually to laugh and shrug. The truth is that the voice that said, “Why not now?” was too loud to ignore. And that time can be found if you know where to look. My first two books were written during naptimes. Then my little darlings stopped napping and things got a little more difficult. But again I discovered that time can be found. I do a lot of pre-writing work, things like plotting and having imaginary conversations with my characters, while I clean or bake. So an attack of writer’s block is usually welcomed by my family because it means clean bathrooms and freshly baked muffins!

I was not young when I became a mom: thirty-six when my oldest was born and staring forty in the face when my baby came along. I dreamed about being a mother for a LONG time before it happened. Before God sent me the just-right man for me to marry (and I thank him for that daily). But when it happened, it was worth it.  Who cares if I’m the oldest mommy at preschool drop-off, so what?

So when my dream of writing stopped whispering and started shouting, I knew it was time to listen. Because convenient or not, when you have a dream and God gives you what you need to pursue it, the only thing to say is, “Why not now?”

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Copyright 2014, Marilee Haynes

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