I feel like I’ve been in this exact same place before. It’s a place where I’m waiting for something important to happen. Everyone seems to be looking at me as if I’m the one who is supposed to make it happen. And yet I have absolutely no control over when it happens. I have a plan in place for what I’m supposed to do once the snowball starts rolling down the hill. But the moment the snowball starts to roll is outside my control.
The last time I was in this place was in the fall of 1993. I had been pregnant since January. The baby showers were over and little outfits already washed and folded. Diapers were stacked on the changing table and the crib was ready. Friends called regularly to check on my progress. By the end of September my maternity clothes were tight and I was starting to feel like a Winnebago. On a trip to Saint Vincent’s Medical Center for my weekly appointment, I approached an elevator where several people were already waiting. They looked at me then decided to take the stairs. Trying to sit at a desk to do my copy editing job was so uncomfortable I started my maternity leave even though I had planned to work right up until delivery.
After I started my leave, my mother came. We tried to do things to stay busy. I took walks, wrote thank-you notes, polished my nails, re-read all the books my obstetrician had given me, reorganized the pantry, cleaned out closets, and invited people over for dinner. But after dinner, the entertainment was always the same, everyone sat around looking at me as if I could make it happen. Two weeks past the due date friends stopped calling because nothing was more depressing than hearing that I was still waiting.
Today I’m playing another kind of waiting game. This time I’m an author birthing a book.
This book started after the baby from my first big wait grew into a teenager. She wrote a paper for her ninth grade history project that was so special, we both knew it simply had to be expanded into a book. Jennifer stays so busy with school and sports and Girl Scouts and other activities that I’ve been driving the bus to get the book published.
It is so very, very close. Weeks overdue, and the wait is painful.
Any minute now I’m expecting to see the review copy of the finished product. Any day now I can announce that the book is available for purchase.
But meanwhile, I’m waiting.