Mama Mia

In my optimism, I forget how much time and effort each fledgling book demands. It’s a mystery every mother knows about birthing. In one’s foggy memory moms know the delivery of each child was hellish—the nearest she comes to death, actually, but because our memory was almost wiped clean by that beautiful, slimy child placed on our tummy, we do IT again.

Still. I’m into my forties and while my girlfriends are making purchase on egg production like Easter is coming and the sale is about to end, I’m having my doubts about maternal instincts. I blame celebs for bringing full litters of children back into vogue and evangelicals for multiple adoptions. Don’t get me started on franchise authors.… As for mothering, my quota was two, meaning that if one of my two children had a friend over, the other child had to go on a play date. What if my writing quota is also…two?

I’m not sure I have the stamina to continue producing literary children. I’ve heard that menopause is an American construct—a cultural mindset—in contrast to some cultures who don’t even have a word for menopause. Well, I don’t know what kind of mind game might have started this deal, but I feel little bizarre rebellions of my body against the encroaching effects of chronological time such as the soles of my feet burning like hell’s bells on a cool Montana night. 

Strange cravings pull and possess my thoughts. Without progesterone cream my substantial bosoms become painfully sensitive long before my time of the month. You come within twelve inches of these girls and your life is in danger. Even an affectionate glance can garner a karate chop. I don’t know if it’s a “mind over hormones” situation, but some hidden evil is making me prickly and short tempered especially in close quarters. Maybe those gals in other countries don’t have sensitive men all up in their space. 

The point is, my physical chronology is running neck and neck with my writer life. Like many women in my age category and above, I’m restless and no longer content to sit and spin straw into gold. The world is taunting me. It’s time to dance. 

It’s decided then. I am resolved to put my pen down. Close the door to my writing studio, kick up my heels and break free. The world of adventure awaits!

…Until I see a newborn novel with a beautiful semi-gloss cover. Just lying there so precious and new to this world. Her breath is sweet and her eyes still puffy and closed to the harsh light. Tiny fingers are balled up in a fist not knowing how to unfold or where to go. I snuggle the tiny being up under my chin and my boobs start to ache–none of that menopause soreness–this ache is reminiscent of the warm, sweet heaviness of milk letting down when Mama hears a baby cry.

I know this sensation. Far beyond reason, it’s a primal response woven into the fabric of my being. I have forgotten the labor pains, the sore bottom, the sleepless nights. I will create again.