I have a very creative toddler who loves animals more than just about anything (except for her grandparents…I WISH she would beg for a zebra as much as she asks where her Papa is!) This morning she informed me she wanted to pet a zebra, so we did just that.
After spending most of the week cooped up in the house, I decided to take my daughter to play. There is a sweet little place a few miles outside of town, run by old school mates of mine (as most places in small towns seem to be) and we were feeling adventurous so we headed out there with thoughts of stripes dancing in her head.
OH! What fun was had! There have been several baby goats, and one cute little sheep, birthed in the past few weeks and not only were we allowed to pet them…we got to hold one! My little ‘Monkey’ kissed a Zebra, got kissed by Zebras, Llamas, and a Camel, AND got to climb up and slide down a hay slide. Did I mention the small pen she got to play in with the baby pot-bellied pigs? (Or the rabbits, ducks, chickens, etc.) For myself, I got to take a selfie with the camel…I feel COOL!
However, I often laugh at myself because of my ‘writerly’ tendencies and today was no different. On the way out to the Menagerie I found myself mentally writing a blog post about driving with toddlers (I should write that sometime!). As we pulled in and parked I looked around the well-kept grounds and saw our first glimpses of the penned animals and began to tell Monkey little pieces of ideas for children’s books with those animals as characters (A potbellied piglet named Pauline who likes to sing anybody??). After we got into the area and began walking around, I caught myself mentally converting what I was seeing into words and then taking those words and building descriptive sentences.
I tried to stop, I really did. I mean honestly, I am pouring my heart into The Stone Dragon Saga and the only animal they have in common with the petting zoo is Passiona’s pet goat (although she did have babies recently…hmm.) Do I have the time between writing book 4 (Dragons in the Deep) while utilizing Camp NaNoWriMo, writing articles for Yahoo! Contributor’s Network, blogging, and playing with Monkey to start working on something else, even something as short as Children’s Picture Book stories? The short answer: No. The answer I’m giving…mmmmaaaayyyybbbeee. I mean, I write a short story once a week for the blog anyway, right? *Insert crazy grin here*. We shall see what happens.
In any case, whether or not I ever get around to writing those stories, I got kissed by a camel, a goat, a zebu, and a donkey AND I hand fed an Emu..that’s right, AN EMU. (And I didn’t scream when that beak came down, snaps for Beth.)
As I watch my daughter grow and change, these small moments when I pushed the characters aside and focused on fun with her will be ever more important. I may definitely be a writer for life, but for an hour or two today, I was a mommy living life…and it felt good.