an early present

December 22, 2010

I found a present in my inbox today. Heather Janssen, editor of get born magazine, wrote that the Fall issue of the magazine is finally live on this second day of winter. (Her blog post announcing the issue has the subtitle a little late, but hey, we’re moms.)

I have an essay in the issue, which you can read on the magazine’s website. I’m grateful to have found a home for this one. It’s lived on my hard drive and in my heart for a few years now, and is particularly dear to me. It tells the tale of my Lulu of a few years back: the girl who wanted nothing more than to sing on stage. (And of her mother, who wanted nothing more than to help that happen.)

We’ve both grown up in the three-and-a-half years since. Lulu’s found her way up to many more stages; I’ve learned she can do it without me.

(Note: This essay is written in sections. Unfortunately the section breaks don’t appear in the online version, which makes the transitions a little jarring.)

If you find yourself with a little time between baking and wrapping in the next few days, with a cup of cocoa or a holiday brew by your side, give it a read. And if you don’t find yourself with any downtime, well, I’m with you.

But sit down with that holiday drink anyway. Surely there’s time for that.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie Pomeroy December 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I love the lists, Patricia, and your honesty about wanting Lulu’s glory to reflect back on you, as well as your thoughtful reflections on the desire to encourage without pushing too much, and the difficulty of finding the right balance. It’s a lovely essay, full of voice and heart and humor. Thank you so much for sharing it here! Glad it’s finally out.

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patricia December 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Thanks so much for taking the time to read the essay, Carrie. It’s always especially meaningful to get feedback from a fellow writer.

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Carrie December 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm

What a lovely essay. What really spoke to me is the part about watching your child deal with disappointment, so much harder than watching then behave badly.

I also loved your story of your father- that is the father we all want for ourselves and our kids.

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patricia December 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I’m honored that you read it, Carrie.

And yes, my dad is a pretty great guy. 🙂

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Just Peaches December 29, 2010 at 11:14 am

I share your mother’s pride Patricia. I was moved to tears when my daughter played Handel’s Hallelujah chorus in a youth orchestra this Christmas. I held my breath as she nimbly played a difficult section of Corelli’s Christmas concerto. Love, pride, fear and joy: you express it all so well. Thank you for sharing.

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patricia December 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

There’s nothing like seeing your kids up on a stage, doing their thing without you, is there? It gives you some perspective on what amazing people they are. Thanks for reading the essay, Peaches!

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Laura December 30, 2010 at 12:29 am

I loved your essay. I absolutely loved it. I had to tell myself to slow down as I was reading; I was nervous and anxious about Lulu’s audition. My heart hurt as I pictured Lulu in the rearview mirror. I also wanted to reach out and squeeze your dad for his pom pom support. Glad that piece found a home and so grateful to have been able to read it.

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patricia December 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

Thank you, my friend. I imagine it makes for a different read when you know the Lulu and the dad in question! Can’t you just picture my dad demonstrating pompom moves with dishtowels? (I think I can picture your dad doing pompom moves with dishtowels!)

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Heather December 31, 2010 at 9:51 am

As the Heather that published said brilliant essay, I feel like it’s appropriate for me to thank Patricia for her submission–I rarely receive submissions so print-ready and beautifully crafted. Also, thanks should be made to how much support and fodder you’re giving me for my own homeschooling journey, through your excellent documentation of yours. Much thanks!

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patricia December 31, 2010 at 3:06 pm

The thanks are all mine, Heather. That essay had already gone through a nice little round of rejections. Thank you for seeing something there.

And the print editions arrived in the mail today! So I got a new year’s present too!

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Carrie Pomeroy December 31, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Speaking of presents, Patricia, as I reflect on who gave me inspiration and support this year (as well as last year!), you are definitely on that list. Your honesty, your creativity, and your enthusiasm are gifts to everyone who gets to encounter them!

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patricia December 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Readers like you, Carrie, are what make me want to do this. So thank you right back for your support and inspiration. Your comments always help me see that I’ve made the connection I was hoping for.

Happy new year!

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Kristin February 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

What an eloquently written story Tricia. Heartfelt. Definitely worthy of being published.

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patricia February 2, 2011 at 9:43 am

Thank you for taking the time to read it, Kristin. That means a lot to me.

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wanderingsue July 6, 2013 at 4:13 am

Cant link to it anymore. Is there another way?

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patricia July 16, 2013 at 10:02 am

Thanks for letting me know that the link didn’t work anymore, wanderingsue. I guess Get Born is no longer live. Too bad. I will link my own copy on the website when I get a chance, and will let you know when I do. Thanks for being interested!

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