24

The day I received my first-ever rejection letter, I burst into tears on the phone with Christian, crying, “I just know I’m never going to break in!” (Hello, Don Music.) I couldn’t sleep for three days afterwards, from sheer artistic misery.

The day I found the email from Wild Rose Press in my inbox, Julianna was not even a week old, and I was staggering through the haze that surrounds any birth, but especially the birth of a child with special needs. “Well,” I said to myself, “let’s go ahead an open it, because a rejection sure as heck isn’t gonna hurt today.” And when I did, and found instead a note accepting The Beggars Queen, I stood staring at the computer screen, thinking, Why am I not more excited?…and proceeded not to sleep for the next two weeks.

The triumphs and tragedies of acceptance and rejection have moderated through sheer repetition now—and more to the point, through the distraction of three munchkins in need of attention—but I still am amazed at the highs and lows that one 24-hour period can contain.

Thursday’s mail brought me a rejection of a song I had felt confident would be accepted. But I had a toddler with croup, and a baby with a fever and runny nose, so I couldn’t give way to my frustration. Still, for the rest of the evening, every time I thought of it I felt this surge of negativity. And I thought of it often.

By lunchtime on Friday, I was feeling queasy and low-energy from my medication (metformin is a real bear to adjust to)—and Julianna’s condition was starting the downward spiral. Christian checked in with me, and just as I hung up the phone, I clicked open my email to see a message I’d been awaiting for some time, from my editor at GIA. My finger hovered over the mouse as I debated ignoring it for a few hours. With the way the day was going, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to see what he had to say. But finally decided to get it over with. I clicked it open, and those few short lines redeemed the day…and added to my “to-do” pile!

After an acceptance, it’s hard not to carry a little glow of contentment around for the rest of the day. Even if I was feeling so bad that I had to lie down instead of diving into my book, my flute collection, and my Family Foundations article. But I sure don’t need to succumb to flu or some other virus, on top of medication reaction. Surely one of these nights, the kids will be well enough to sleep again, and then I’ll be able to go back to my early morning work sessions. Till then, I’m Mom, canceling lessons, nursing Nicholas on one side and snuggling Julianna under the other arm.

By the time three more hours had passed, Julianna was in the ER. Thus wiping out Friday and Saturday (by the time she & Christian got home it was noon).

And the next 24 hours? Funny you should ask. Julianna’s better, Nicholas is worse. Between the two of them, we have a classic case of croup. :/ 

Oh, how I wish this nasty medication reaction would hurry up and clear my system…and that the kids would fight off this bug. Before Mommy and Daddy’s immunity gets swamped. At least it’s warm these past two days, and we’ve had the house open, so we’re able to change out the sick air.