I love watching how my baby is developing.
She is, as of today, nine months old, and it is amazing to see the growth and development that has taken place in that short amount of time. Physically, she’s quite portly, with these cute little thick thighs and chubby cheeks; just enough hair for a little Pebbles Flintstone-esque spray of a ponytail that sits right on top of her head; and two super sharp pearly whites. Just like my other two children, she looks more like my husband than me (hummph). In terms of personality, I am seeing a bit of a temper beginning to emerge (sometimes to my dismay, other times her little fits are actually kind of amusing). She is taking risks as she gets more mobile. I can no longer lay her on a bed and turn my back on her to rustle through my drawers to find a t-shirt and pants. She has mastered the art of the crawl and is pulling up on things. A few times she has pulled herself up on the couch and let go, managing to balance her little plump body for a couple of seconds before falling to the floor. I imagine it won’t be much longer before she is chasing her big brother and big sister through the house (which means it’ll be even messier than it already is, JOY).
Interestingly enough, as her mobility has increased, her self-preservation instincts have kicked in rather strongly. Jayla is typically a pretty friendly baby, but in the past month she has gotten to where she hollers if Matt or I leave her line of sight. It’s like she knows finding out boundaries on her own… she explores but always looks to us for safety, guidance and encouragement. It is amazing to me the timeliness that she has developed this sudden awareness and even uncertainty about others at the same time that she became able to crawl and soon walk away from her parents.
I have been feeling bad physically but mentally my gears are a-grindin’. I absolutely cannot WAIT to finish this book; I have such a good feeling about it. Am I expecting it to be a best-seller and made into a movie? (A girl can dream…) I’ll put it this way–I definitely have confidence that it will have broad appeal and will be received well if it is marketed properly, but at the end of the day, if even ONE person reads it and it helps them in some way, I have accomplished my very goal in putting it into public rotation in the first place. I write for myself, but then again…I don’t. (I don’t make a lot of sense at almost two in the morning, I apologize). What I mean by that is that writing is something I HAVE to do. When the creative bug hits me, it does not let up until I let loose. Reading and writing are my two escapes, two of my three means of sanity (the first, of course, is prayer). I write because I love it. But what I write is not FOR me, and not in order for me to gain fame. It is to help somebody.
All of the books and even book ideas that have come to me have come from a place of Godly wisdom and love. I don’t write feel-good fiction, basically (not knocking it, because I LOVE IT). I take a fictional approach to a real-life issue. Usually they have been topics that have been glossed over in the Church, such as domestic violence which is the topic of the book I am covering up, and sexual assault, which will be next. Christians need to be talking about these things. Typically, churches have avoided these problems, and in Black families, they are rug-swept. It was, at one point in time, a joke in the Black family to have the “creepy uncle” who hugged you too long or gave you the too-wet kiss, or noticed when you first started growing breasts and hips. When a little girl or boy told his parents about sexual abuse, if they were brave enough to do so, criminal charges were rarely ever filed. Instead, the family attempted to deal with the matter quietly. And what the heck does that teach that little boy or girl? That the family’s perfect image is more important than acting swiftly and appropriately to remove a threat from that child’s life, and from society?
I hate to go off on a tangent, but there were so many implications that people did not even consider when they failed to even call the authorities when their child mentioned abuse. Number one, not only has that child’s trust in that particular adult figure been tarnished, how are they going to trust ANY adults after the ones closest to them basically told them that them being violated wasn’t that big a deal? Because not only were the violators not prosecuted, those children were NOT put in counseling. Black families wanted to keep it a secret and it was an awful thing to do.
Two, if the perpetrator is not punished, what do you think he will do? You think he will just stop? No. I think since he got off scot-free in the first place, he will go on to sexually abuse another child. His behavior will continue to escalate until he is forced to deal with it–usually when he is caught and punished. (Mind you, I am saying “he” in a general sense. I am just using that pronoun, but I am referring to perpetrators of both sexes. I have also become aware of disturbing accounts of little boys and girls being molested by adult females too).
I could go on, but I’ll save it for my next book.
I guess I should turn in. I only got up to cut the heat up a little–this is supposedly the first day of spring and here I am cutting the heat up a little. Gotta love Michigan. We didn’t have a winter, and now here comes spring and we’ve been getting snow. I’ve been short on the complaints because we really didn’t get much snow to begin with. I just hope the cold air doesn’t last into May because I really want to do something beautiful for Matt’s birthday but I am fully aware that God PRETTY much does what He wants. If he decides the earth needs a bit more water, I’m sure he’ll bring on the snow. And we’ll have no choice but to pout and bear it (not grin and bear it).
Besides the fact that I’ve lived in Michigan for the entirety of my 35 years of life and have become accustomed to the unpredictable weather, I know that there are far more pressing matters I should be talking to God about than me wanting sunshine. People are out there suffering and our government seems to have completely turned its back on us average Joes and Janes with each piece of legislation passed or posed. People are dying each and every day. So yes, I cannot wait to see sun, flowers and clear skies, what is happening to people is of greater significance. God help us.