Despite the school/sports busyness, it's good to see the kids working hard and growing. It takes a couple of weeks to adjust and believe me, there is grousing every fall. But I am happy to see how the organized sports teach our children many, many life skills, particularly discipline. It carries over into so many other areas of their life. I highly recommend it, even if your kids are not athletic superstars. Mine aren't. They take after me ... School days also provide me with several hours of quiet, not just for the writing, but the praying/thinking/daydreaming that is so essential in a writer's life. Even as I do the household chores, I can be thinking about the stories I'm working on. I take leisurely walks with the dog, sit out on the back porch to read, write and just soak in all the beauty. One of these days I'll have to record the symphony in my backyard. Having the quiet during the day balances our busy evenings.
It has cooled off considerably with the afternoon storms we've been having. Alas, the mosquitoes haven't quit biting me yet ... Soon, soon. I love Sept. because it is the month my husband was born. He's growing after God's own heart. I say this to encourage those of you who mourn not introducing your children to Jesus when they were young or those who mourn the loss of faith in your adult children. Conversion of heart, the turning away from sin, can and does happen in adults. In fact, Michael was raised without God. But his heart began to turn as he read the Bible stories to our children. I cannot say I understand what went through his mind as he cast away his old thinking but he was falling in love. And during RCIA we talked incessantly about Jesus, this God-Man, as we began to know Him. It was so much easier for me to return to faith, but in Michael I saw a greater humility as he confronted his own past and admitted that what he based his life on was wrong. This is no small thing for a grown, intelligent man. We joked about how squeaky clean he was when he was baptized. And I was a little bit jealous. Alas, we muck up our soul on a regular basis with all the trivial things, so thank God for confession and confessors.
That Easter Vigil, when our children were baptized and confirmed, I realized we've done right by them. But they will still need to embrace it on their own when they leave home. They will have to make a choice. Are they with Jesus or against? There is no half-way, no sitting on the fence, no wishy-washy. So keep the faith and keep praying. Two books my husband recommends for fathers: Fr. Alain Delagneau's Advice for Successful Families and Joseph's Way: the Call to Fatherly Greatness by Devin Schadt. Michael has given away so many copies of Advice, I've lost count. It's a slim book, chock-full of the most practical advice for families.
And last, I love Sept. for the SCBWI Carolinas conference. What perfect timing, even if I have to leave my sweetie for a weekend. We have a terrific chapter and I always enjoy being with like-minded folks. If you are in Charlotte this weekend, come say hello, have a cup of tea with me.