I was told, when I was given my blog date, the theme of the month was “What I’m Reading”. But I’m not just a writer. I’m a busy mom of two. One of them is in kindergarten and I swear I have more homework than he does, because I am responsible for keeping his reading log. And he’s five. He doesn’t read. Which means that I am the one reading to him. And I’m guessing blog readers aren’t looking for titles like Pete the Cat Plays Ball or Curious George goes to the Library, or my personal favorite, Everyone Poops (okay, not my personal favorite, but my son sneaks it into the pile at every opportunity).
Instead of telling you about the book I am currently reading, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the glamorous life of a ‘mauthor’ – a mother author or author mother. I am blessed to be able to stay at home while my husband earns the real paycheck, because most authors are not in the Nora Roberts’ tax bracket, am I right? This means I write in my pjs while juggling loads of laundry, tossing the slobbery squeaky toy for the dog and trying to sneak in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on the DVR while the kids aren’t home. It means long hours alone.
As I mentioned earlier, my youngest started all-day kindergarten this fall. I was so excited to have the extra writing time that I felt I had to give back to the school in some small way. I decided to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms. Remember, I’m used to bumming around in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. But this was an opportunity to get out of the house, to dress up and be a real adult. I got to wear makeup!
So I got ready to volunteer for my first day in my daughter’s fourth grade classroom. I put on my striped sweater dress and some brand new black leggings. I dug out my fancy boots. I spent extra time on my makeup and hair. I got to school and signed in at the front desk, waving to the secretaries and heading off to work with these adorable fourth graders. I was going to make my daughter proud. I got to her classroom and her teacher sat me at a little table, handed me a pair of scissors and a bag of supplies from Michaels. Two minutes after arriving for my first volunteer assignment in the classroom, I was covered in white dust, as I cut plaster tape into one inch strips for the masks they would be making the following week. The glamorous life of a mauthor.
My next stop was the kindergarten classroom. I was expecting to do more cutting, or making copies or perhaps a little filing. Instead, my son’s teacher announced to the class that they were lucky to have an author with them today. I nearly cried. All of a sudden I had 24 little faces staring in awe, like I was some kind of celebrity. She asked them who would like to work with me on their journals. Every hand shot up. My son was literally vibrating, his grin huge. It was so much fun to work with these kids, each one teaching me something new and amazing about the writing process, and about how they all viewed life so differently.
Maybe I won’t get quite so dressed up for volunteer day next week. Maybe it isn’t as glamorous as I had originally thought. But it’s still a chance to get away from my writing desk, talk to people face to face and gain valuable writing fodder for future projects. And I get to see my kiddos in a different environment – heck, they get to see me in a different environment – completely out of my element. And that’s probably a very good thing. This is going to be a fun school year for this mauthor.
How about you? Anyone else go to work in their pajamas? Long for the chance to get out and mingle with people, just so you get to talk to a live person and not your cat or dog? Talk the ear off the washing machine repairman, just because you can? Any other mauthors out there? Leave a comment and give a virtual wave.
Jennifer DeCuir writes small town contemporary romances while wrangling two kids, a husband, and three neurotic pets. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she can never get enough sunshine or caffeine. Her Scallop Shores series, published by Crimson Romance, is based on her hometown of York, Maine. When she isn’t writing or reading, she is probably adding to her obsessively huge yarn stash and wondering what gifts she’s going to crochet for Christmas this year.
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