She will be 12. It's weird and exciting all at once. It's one of those moments you anticipate and get thrown by at once. I told her I would spend the day with her, which is only a big deal because I write on Thursdays. (And yes, I do realize that only writing one day a week will make my August goal impossible but it's what I have.)
This is important because I have not been present for a birthday since I went to college. That's five years, folks. Five. She comes to me last night and says I can take a couple hours away if I want to. "I know you need to write," she says. "It's the day you always do and you can if you want to. I don't care." I was floored--and despite my selfish wish--said it was okay if I missed a week. She smiled, the relief obvious.
I tell that story because she gets it. She gets (maybe not fully but somewhat) the importance of what I am doing, that I am not just spending hours in the corner at Panera Bread each week because I have nothing better to do. She gets that is important to me and that I am passionate. There are so many people that don't. There are some, who when I say what I am doing and what I am going to study in grad school, get this look.
If you're a writer, then you know the look. The look that says, "Oh, that's not going to pay you" or "WTF are you thinking?" or "im glad you wasted all the money on school." The Look can say many things, things that usually are reflected in our own insecurities, but it is typically there unless someone knows you very well.
I am going to work on replacing that look with the one my little sister gave me. Her look was one that was understanding, supportive and ready to sacrifice something she really wanted so I could write. That look is the one that should affect us.