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    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    That's Life, Baby

    Things come easy to my second son. Compared to his ADHD brother, Chunky lives a charmed life. That’s why this last week was so devastating for him. I’m afraid reality invaded his bubble.

    First came what we’re calling the Epic Tooth Fairy Fail. It’s exactly what it sounds like folks. Chunky woke up, ran to check the special tooth pillow we hang on the doorknob and managed to catch the wall at just the wrong place. He went sprawling but picked himself up and limped on, only to discover the Tooth Fairy had forgotten our house.

    After curling into a ball and sobbing on Mom and Dad’s bed, he decided the Tooth Fairy must’ve been out of the country because it was the end of the month. I enthusiastically endorsed this theory.

    You’ll be happy to know, the Tooth Fairy came through on night number two.

    But that wasn’t Chunky’s only brush with disappointment.

    Saturday the boys attended their first Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. We didn’t know what to expect, but since the boys both picked the same design—an army tank—we figured we couldn’t go too far wrong with nearly identical cars.

    Monkey’s tank won every heat and came out the overall winner for his den. Chunky’s car—the exact same design—came in fourth for his den, just missing a chance for a trophy. Oh, the bitter tears.

    We hung around for the finals in which Monkey placed seventh, earning an opportunity to go on to the district finals.

    There’s no logical explanation for why Monkey’s car did so well and Chunky’s didn’t, and that makes it all the harder. We told him all the things you tell your child in this situation.

    “It’s not winning that matters, it’s having fun.”

    “There are lots of other boys who didn’t get a trophy.”

    “We can be happy for your brother and your friends who placed.”

    And Chunky tried. He accepted hugs from his brother and cheered for his friends’ cars in the finals. But all he really wanted to do was huddle in Mommy’s lap.

    I posted about the difficult lesson we were learning on Facebook, and a friend commented that adults struggle with similar emotions.

    I agree. Every time one of my manuscripts is rejected, for no good reason it seems, I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I want to point to some published book and say, “That book isn’t as good as mine. It doesn’t deserve to win!”

    But that doesn’t make the pain go away. In the end, I have to crawl up in my Father’s lap and just wait for the ache to subside.

    The good news for Chunky, and for me, is that we can try again. We can keep building, keep creating, keep racing. We can learn to rejoice with our friends even as they commiserate with our frustration.

    And those of us who remain stubbornly out of touch with reality can tell ourselves, “It’s okay. The Book Contract Fairy is on vacation today. Maybe she’ll come tomorrow.”

    Our family would appreciate your prayers in the following weeks as my mom goes in for hip replacement this Tuesday. I’ll keep you posted on her recovery. Thanks!


    Beth K. Vogt said...

    Here's believing the Book Contract Fairy is going to stop by your house soon, E!!
    Sorry Chunky had such a rough go of it. Thank God for the chance to huddle in moms' laps and God's arms.

    Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

    Wow, Evangeline, this is a post that hits home for me. I'm like you and Chunky. I haven't actually submitted a manuscript, but I wonder why I'm not more successful at other aspects of [freelance] writing or this or that. Thanks for your honesty. And tell Chunky that I like his tank the best. :)