I don’t know why but I feel it in my bones: this year is going to be a good year. Everything I’ve been working toward, hoping for, is going to come together. And not because I believe in blind luck. Not because I have magical powers. Not because I can control anything in my life. There will be ups and downs, like every year, but for some reason, I feel like something important will happen this year.
Last night, for instance, my parents and I took my boys to the bookstore. Josh picked out a Captain Awesome book and Ari found a Mystery Ballpark book about his all-time favourite subject: baseball. They were actually excited to be in a bookstore, browsing through all the titles, knowing that being readers means they have access to a secret language only found between the covers of a book. My heart soared watching them act as though they were in a toy store. They are growing up and growing to love reading.
After they found what they wanted, I browsed the shelves for a book I wanted. That’s when Ari approached a salesperson and told him his favourite author is Erin Silver.
“Do you have any books by Erin Silver?” he asked.
(“That would be me,” I had to explain.)
While my book hasn’t been published (yet), I’ve been working hard toward this goal. I’ve been obsessed with it. Thinking constantly about it. I’ve finished the manuscript and am now polishing it over and over. I’m used to rejection. It no longer scares me. That lack of fear makes me feel a little invincible–like nothing, not even a “no,” can stop me. I’ve wanted to give up plenty of times, but when I see my kids in the bookstore asking for my book, it makes me realize I’ve got to keep trying. I can’t let them down.
“You can even self-publish!” they tell me. (The fact they know what that is probably means I’ve been talking about my book a little too much lately!)
In addition to making progress on this front, I will be graduating with my MFA. I’ve always wanted a Masters degree. In my 20s and early 30s, I lamented the fact I never attained one. I always loved school, and not achieving this goal was one of my biggest regrets. Now I’m just months away from earning my degree. My kids will be there to watch me graduate, which makes it all the more satisfying.
I made it a goal last year to travel more with my kids. They are bigger now, and while they will probably always like jumping on hotel beds, they are more portable and I enjoy showing them bits of the world. This year I’m hoping to make it to Quebec City and Cooperstown.
I have no other predictions, no other goals to share. I must leave things to chance. But as the new year begins, I can’t help but feel hopeful. The year is stretching out ahead of me like an open road and I can’t wait to drive it.
Already, surprising things have happened. Last night after we got home from the bookstore, the kids got into bed and cracked open their new books. They lay there, side by side, their nose buried in the pages of their books. I stared at them dumbfounded. Never in my life could I have imagined the day they’d want to stay up to read. That they could become so engrossed in a book that they didn’t even want to bother one another.
“Bedtime!” I told them, even though I didn’t want the magic to end.
“Just a few more pages!” they begged.
My heart glowed. If I’ve ever looked for a sign of promise, this was definitely it.