Milestones, or Reflections on Staying Up Past Bedtime On A School Night


Milestones to the left of me, milestones to the right of me, milestones keep falling on my head.

Shall I count the ways?

The novel is at almost 80%, which means it’s time to start wrapping this thing up like a bad christmas present.  I think the pieces are in place, and despite the twists and turns this thing has taken me on, I can still have the ending that I pictured when I set out on the journey, which is a pretty cool feeling.  Like leaving on a road trip that ends in Seattle and traveling through Arizona instead of Wyoming, but that means I got to see the Grand Canyon along the way, which is something I’ve always wanted to see, so there’s that.  So a pinpoint of light is stabbing through the veil, and like a cartographer’s compass, it’s guiding me home.  A tractor beam pulling me in.  A magnet drawing me toward the finish, as Andre Agassi put it.

One day left in my first year as a high school teacher.  Teaching is a journey in its own right, but considering this is where I saw myself when I started down this road, it’s quite a feeling being here.  Don’t get me wrong, my time in middle school was instructive, but kids at that age are just not a good match for me; I swear I felt myself regressing every day, and I think if I’d spent a few more years teaching at that level, my voice would have undropped and I would have entered reverse puberty, which is totally a real thing that I absolutely did not just this minute invent for the sake of a stupid joke.  Totally.  In seriousness, seeing the seniors I taught this year graduate was a sobering moment that really brings some sense of accomplishment and fulfillment to my career, and the fact that I can even call my job a career is a testament to my wife who pushed me onto this road in the first place.  So, thanks, honey.

Also, one day left in my life as a parent of one.  It’s a rather metropolitan scenario, scheduling the birth of your child, but science does what science must do, and for reasons that probably don’t concern anybody who doesn’t know my wife and I personally, we had a c-section last time and thus must have a c-section this time, and that means we get to pick the day on which Sprout the Second is born.  Assuming she makes it that far, which, as long as she makes it through tomorrow, she has.  I never thought I would be ready to be a father of one, but it turns out not to be nearly so bad as I feared, so the fact that I feel completely unprepared to be a father of two does not daunt me nearly so much.  That said, I know full well that thinking I’m in any way ready for what’s to come is an error of hubristic proportions (yeah, hubristic is a word I just made up, I consider myself a writer now, deal with it).  Sidenote: my writing is going to be completely blown up for likely the rest of the week, if not the rest of my life.  My apologies in advance.

One hundred follows.  If trends continue, I should meet and pass that before the week is out, assuming all my writing doesn’t go over the cliff (which it may well do).  This baffles and astonishes me, because while I like to pretend that I have things to say and an interesting way in which to say them, actually having proof that there are folks out there willing to read my brain droppings (thanks George Carlin) on a regular basis is still a bit of a shock to the system.  I owe a lot of those follows to Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction challenges, but I know that some of you out there have discovered me through my unprompted posts about the bizarre and wonderful act of writing, the bizarre and wonderful act of running, and the bizarre and wonderful act of parenting.  However you ended up with your eyeballs processing my wordy bits, thanks for taking the time out.  Knowing I have an audience, no matter how big or small, is a tremendous motivator on those days when I feel like I can’t possibly complete this thing I’ve now nearly finished doing.  However, for the record, you’ll have nobody to blame but yourselves if and when I actually publish this thing.

What else can I say?  It’s way past my bedtime and it’s a rather big day ahead, my last day as a teacher this (academic) year, and my wife will be getting a healthy dose of poking and prodding in preparation for the Lexi landing on Thursday.  That calls for a drink.

Just kidding, I already had a drink, as my punctuation and rambling in this post will attest.  Happy Tuesday.


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