Monday, March 30, 2015


#NovelSnip is a tiny portion of my fiction-writing project.  I generally post it on Sunday mornings, but this Sunday, I was on an interstate road trip.  So, I'm posting it on Monday.  I wrote this part a long, long time ago.  I think in December. 
As Alice and Ethan had grown up, she’d thrown herself into motherhood - reviewing animal sounds, drilling letters and numbers when they were toddlers, peering over their shoulders at their homework in elementary school.  Their personalities fascinated her, and she secretly reveled in the distance being an adoptive parent allowed.  Every good trait, she reasoned, sprung from her remarkable parenting; every troubling one came from their birth families.  There were parts of them that were beyond her at a cellular level - there was nothing to be done.

As Alice had leapt through toddlerhood and into elementary school, she had more questions about her adoption.  Who were my birth parents? When did you find out you’d get me? What was it like when you took me home? she’d ask.  

Evelyn repeated a story she cherished of driving Alice to an empty house - they’d closed on it just two weeks before, the construction still in progress - Frank driving, wordlessly, as she sat in the back staring at Alice’s face, incredulous that after all this time, they’d arrived the foster home, stumbled up to the doorway, and driven away with her.  A tiny creature who belonged to them.

The only room Evelyn had finished, furnished and organized, was Alice’s.  Tiny baby clothes washed and folded in a stout dresser, oak rocking chair pushed into the corner, brown shag wall-to-wall, quiet and soft, crib with a drop side and yellow bumpers.

Carrying her inside, she’d been terrified, gingerly positioning Alice on her left shoulder, watching each footfall on the stairs to her own bedroom, lest she misstep.  She nudged her own door open with her shoulder and lay Alice gently on her bed, kneeling beside it and staring into her face.  

“Hi,” she whispered to Alice, who wriggled a little in her blanket on the bed, quiet.  “Welcome home,” she continued.  Alice’s head tilted suddenly and her eyes locked with Evelyn’s.  A smile spread on the baby’s face.  A gas bubble, perhaps, but nevertheless, a clear sign.

“And that’s when I’d knew we’d be okay,” Evelyn would tell later, again and again, when Alice asked.

That's it for this week!  In April, I'm doing something called Camp NaNoWriMo, during which I've pledged to write 500 (probably crappy) words per day.  But, as I'm always telling my students, just write something really bad.  Just put something down.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! You can feel the joy! Keep writing, love, mom

LH said...

Love the joyfulness as well as the anxious attempts to do our best and forget the rest in our parenting journeys.

Well done again, you!