A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers

A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers

Writers get good news—and then have to wait. Truth is, for me, it’s best to put the news out of mind until I get confirmation that publication is imminent. On Friday I got an e-mail that reminded me that I have a story in a book that is coming out soon—sooner than I expected.

A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers (Adams Media) is set for release on March 10. That’s just over two weeks away! That’s my story, ‘The Rope,’ on page 309, according to the table of contents listed on Amazon.

I know what you are thinking—and you’re right—I am hardly a new mother. Personal writing is like that—either we write stories long after the events happened, or we find a home for them several years after we wrote them. I think I wrote this story in 1997 or 1998, so it qualifies for both.

This story is special to me because I remember the process very well. While my kids were in kindergarten, I savored my precious few hours alone for writing and exercising. I didn’t even turn on any music because for once my house was absolutely quiet. Two days a week they were picked up by their long-time preschool to attend extended kindergarten. Those were my days to pound out the words, if the words were willing.

Many days the words were willing. That year was a fruitful period in my life since I finally had a few hours alone and I no longer worked outside the home.

Two things happened that led me to this story. One was a dream I had about crossing the Mississippi River while pregnant. As dreams go, it wasn’t particularly logical, but I did see a connection between being pregnant and going across the Great Mother River of our country. Later, as I was sitting at my desk pondering this thought, I looked over at my couch and could almost see myself on that couch during my not-quite-bedrest days that lead to the birth of my twins.

So much had passed in the years since those days. Waters under the bridge, to continue the metaphor. Yet, I knew that my kids were so young and that there would be so many other bridges we would need to cross with them.

That thought spurred me to write the story, very quickly. Of course, I had to edit it after the fact, but the original words came out, in a flood, if you will. Then after I wrote the piece, I felt so exhausted I had to go over for a nap on that very couch where I had waited so many days for our family’s journey really to get started.

When I write something really emotional, I feel as if I have been out running a 10K. Somehow the process of pulling something really deep out of the heart is almost as physically challenging as literal movement.

Opening my heart is its own kind of movement, it seems.