I have no idea if my middle son will be a writer.
What I do know is that while he was “cooking” in my womb, my writing career was heating up, and because of that he will always be an indelible part of my finding my groove as a writer.
This is the place where everything began falling into place, after several years of trying to break through the doors of publication. Here, at the Chautauqua conference offered by the Highlights Foundation, I made the connection that led to my first book contract and mingled with authors like the fabulous Jerry Spinelli.
And within my womb, my sweet second son was tucked away, building cells and strength to make it in this world.
He joined us on Nov. 27, 2002, and around that time, I was offered the contract for “First Salmon” from an up and coming publisher connected to Highlights, Boyds Mills Press.
Released in October 2005, my first book was quickly trailed by my second, “P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet,” which was largely composed with a tiny baby somewhere nearby.
Since the beginning, he was the observant type.
When I look at this photo, I see the same child I know today — methodical, thoughtful, not quick to act but always carefully wondering about things. This is a child who ponders much, and I love him for it.
Here we are through the years.
Today, he turned 11, and is now on the heels of the trio of teens we’ve got running us crazy.
My grace-filled boy, the one with more patience than most of us, requested I take him to “The Hobbit” movie for his birthday. Yes, he’s fine waiting until next month when it’s released.
This one who has accompanied me so closely, even unknowingly, on this journey of the writer’s life will soon begin to find just what it is the world is offering him.
I am blessed to have a small share in his world. And it is certain that with him near, I will never experience Thanksgiving without a profundity of gratitude.
Happy birthday, sweet boy!