Stuck In The Middle With You
....and I'm wondering what it is I should do.
I'm so scared, in case I fall off my chair,
and I'm wondering how I'll get down those stairs.
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right...
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
- Stealers Wheel
So here I am, observing my 50th birthday.
Smack dab in the middle of life.
Of course, if you know me, there is an old song lyric to summon the moment.
Note the aforementioned.
At the beginning of the summer, I launched a project.
I am writing a biography about my son Paul.
It's tough for me, because I am very much a part of his life.
I want to weave in my own feelings about autism and parenting.
I can hear my mother in law asking, (with her index finger in the air), "Who is this about, you or Paul?"
I've learned from Geri Anderson, that I need to keep the focus on Paul.
I call her my 'Blind Editor.'
She can't see that my skin has grown reptile. It is like alligator bark.
She is not picking on me. By reading a couple of classics, aloud this summer, e.g., Jane Eyre and David Copperfield, I reckon that Geri is right. I must reel it in, hone the ink, and remember that Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens never veer away from the protagonist.
So I write.
And I'm groovin'.
Yet after writing 7 or so solid chapters, I am in the middle. The white page is so truthfully blinding, that I panic. I need a break. I need to write about me.
The other day, I woke from an afternoon snooze on the back porch. I heard our neighbor's baby crying. It took me back about 17 years ago, when I had a few crying toddlers. Afternoon naps had become a necessity to make it through dinner, dishes, baths, and bedtime stories. I called it the second shift. That crying baby stirred a longing for those old days.
Rubbing my eyes, and rising to fix dinner, I realize the maxim, "The days are long, but the years are short."
In honor of my birthday, I thought it good practice to pen 50 essays.
A slice of life, or in this case, a slice of cake for 50 pithy memories gathered throughout these years.
Memoir #1 releases on August 8, 2014.