Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Too Many Words

I nanny for three girls, the youngest of which is six years old. "The Princess," as I will refer to her in all blog postings, is about halfway through her second week of first grade. I take care of her and her sisters ("The Drama Queen" almost 12, and "The Diva" almost 9) about three afternoons a week. The older two are pretty good about doing their homework without too many problems. Sometimes they'll ask me to help them with their homework, and I realize that I am, in fact, a dunderhead when it comes to elementary and middle school mathematics (What does commutative mean? Seriously...I have to use the dictionary to do 4th grade math?), science (Laws of Motion? All I know is that I get in trouble with the law if my driving motion is too fast), geography (how am I supposed to know why it's called the Tropic of Cancer? No, I'm pretty sure you don't automatically get cancer if you go there), and pretty much everything else.

Anyway, I can easily help "The Princess" with all of her homework, since most if it is still on my level. Right now, she's just coming out of kindergarten (and a long summer break in which I did not make her practice her writing/reading enough), so she's practicing writing simple words like "a," "at," "the," "me," etc.

The past two days I've asked "The Princess" to do her homework. You'd think I was torturing the child. She comes home from school and starts complaining about how long it will take her to do her homework. She eats a snack. She stalls. She sits at the table. She stalls. She cries. She stalls. She pounds the table with her head--literally. I try to reason with her, but she doesn't seem to grasp the simple concept that if she'd just go ahead and START her homework, she would be done with it sooner. Homework that would take her about 10 minutes becomes an hour long ordeal.

The other day, I was trying to help her start her homework. I suggested she write some of her words down. It was a list of 10 words, all four letters long or less. She looked at me helplessly and dramatically exclaimed, "THAT'S TOO MANY WORDS!"

At this point, I really made her mad by busting out laughing. She demanded to know why I was laughing. I said to her as kindly as possible, "Sweetheart, I have written three grown-up chapter books. Don't tell me that this is too many words."

Anyway, I've been taking a break from writing for a while. I have about a week left of it, and then I'm going to have to start trying to get my first book published again. I'm going to have to send out query letters. I'm dreading this.

I have the temptation to look up at God helplessly and exclaim, "THIS IS TOO HARD FOR ME!" Only I'm not too mad when He laughs kindly and says, "But, sweetheart, nothing is too hard for me."

I know that I'm going to sit down to start sending my queries. I'll want to cry. I'll want to pound my fists on the table. I'll want to complain about how long it'll take me to find an agent. I'll want to make up excuses not to try. I'll want to go through every possible reason why I'll most likely not get published. "I'm an unknown writer! No agent will want me!" "My writing is unusual and probably sucks." "I don't know what I'm doing! Why did I think I could do this?" "What if aliens invade the planet and erase every copy of my book, and then steal my brain so I can't write it all over again!?"

The thing is, if I would just sit down and trust God and GET IT DONE, it wouldn't be such an ordeal for me. So I still ask for prayer. The reading break I've taken has been immensely helpful and refreshing. Now it's time to work again. There aren't too many words; I just have to be dilligent to do what needs to be done.

Lord, let not my hands be idle, nor my heart be unstirred.


  1. Have you ever read anything about birth order? The Princess is obviously a last born baby. Obnoxiously so.

  2. ...that's why I call her The Princess. Lol. She is DEFINITELY last born. You have no idea. I love her to bits, though.