Hmm. Quite a bit to post about today. We’ll see if I actually feel like saying much about all of it. First of all, a disclaimer: baby girl isn’t sleeping super well at night, so I’m a bit of a zombie right now. If none of this makes sense, you can thank my daughter. To add to my fatigue, I’ve been working on stacking and moving wood and shoveling out more of my driveway. The mailbox was a particular pain. Who knew that one little mailbox could get covered in that much snow. I think my mailman’s given up on me. Hopefully he’ll actually deliver mail tomorrow. You know that bit about “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”? Well, just put enough of that snow around your mailbox, and suddenly those couriers give up on you. Maybe it’s because they figure they can’t do it swiftly anymore, so why bother.
In other news, Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award was winnowed down to the top 100 today. Yours truly was not number among those happy few. Of course, there were only 5 or 6 sci-fi/fantasy books chosen to proceed, so I can’t feel that bad. Of the 106 or so Sci-fi/fantasy books chosen for the top 860, my excerpt ended up rated 37th. This isn’t so bad, considering I didn’t really pander for good reviews. In fact, only one person I know rated me–the other 7 reviews were all by strangers. Some of the people in the contest were shamelessly asking people for 5 star reviews. What’s the point? So anyway–out of that contest now. Of course, I still have yet to hear back from the editor I sent Vodnik to back in September. I wonder what’s happening with that . . .
And lastly, I don’t post about religion much, but I had an experience in the wee hours of the morning that I wanted to relate to you. The wife and I practice something some have termed as the “Nazi Mom (or Dad) Method of Childrearing” (also known as Babywise). For those of you not “in the know,” this essentially means that making sure your baby doesn’t cry isn’t your top priority. If she’s hungry or wet or hurt or gassy–you do your best to accommodate her, but otherwise you let her scream when she’s supposed to be going to sleep. (I’m not giving this the full description it deserves, but I’m tired, so give me a break.) We did this for Tomas, and I think it helped us be much better parents for him, and it helped him be much more independent. Anyway. Last night baby girl was supposed to be sleeping. Instead, she was crying. A lot. I had checked her diaper, burped her, re-wrapped her, rocked her, and put her back down. She wasn’t in pain. She wasn’t in any real distress. As soon as you picked her up, she’d quiet down. What she wanted was for Mommy or Daddy to come and pay her attention. And I wanted to. Really I did. There’s nothing quite like listening to your child cry and knowing you could help them and get them to stop crying–but letting them cry anyway. But I didn’t pick her up (well, I did every fifteen minutes, just to make sure she was still okay). And I didn’t because I knew that if I picked her up last night, there would come another night (likely tonight) when she’d do the same thing. Again, and again. And that as much as I love her and want her to be happy, I believe I need to help her be able to comfort herself and not constantly look to me to do it for her. (I imagine some of you reading this are disagreeing with me right now. Arguments along the lines of “she’s only a week old” and such. Well, all I can say is that if you disagree, go have kids of your own and raise them however you feel. This method has worked for me, and I’m sticking to it–even if it is hard.) Anyway–the point is, I wondered last night if God ever felt like I did right then. If he saw His children in obvious distress and pain, and He knew that He could help them, but by helping them, He would only end up getting in the way of their becoming better people. As much as it’s nice to have good things happen to you in this life, I really believe you have to have some crappy things happen, too. It goes with the territory. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
I think I’ll go take a nap.
(Oh, and by the way, baby girl is sleeping right now. Like an angel.)