Girls Write Now.
But I am in a quandary. I bent over backwards trying to mold my workshop schedule into submission so that I could attend, but then I didn't check my family schedule.
This morning, my twelve year old said to me: "So mom, you're coming to my orchestra performance, right?"
"What?" I spluttered. "But I have this thing in the city tonight . . ."
He's only been in rehearsals twice a week all year. No big deal, right?
I had envisioned schmoozing, making new contacts, and getting a nice big juicy picture of me and my co-editor, Kirthana Ramisetti holding up the award. It would be a proud moment.
"I really wish that you come come, but . . . It's okay mom."
No, no, it's not okay. I need to prioritize: what is more important? This has been on the calendar since the beginning of the school year and has been something that my son has been working towards. If I don't come, it could be something that he could remember forever. I don't want to be the mom who doesn't show up for her family.
The publishing world is crazy making and I firmly believe in the importance of celebrating each and every success because they can be so few and far between.
But at what cost? If I don't go to the award gala, that doesn't negate all of the work I did for Girls Write Now. It doesn't take my name off the book as co-editor.
If I go to my son's orchestra performance tonight I will be demonstrating what I think of success: showing up for the moments in the lives of my loved ones. Although awards are great, that's not what success is. Success is being able to look at yourself in the mirror. Success is looking into the eyes of others and not flinching. Success is being true to yourself and your values. My value is to show up for my family. I'm not always perfect at it, but this is something I can control and where I am able to prioritize.
So thank you Girls Write Now and Meghan for understanding that I have to bow out of tonight. I couldn't be more proud of all of the work we did together, but I am needed and wanted more at the less glamorous middle school orchestra performance.
Am I a mother who is a writer, or a writer who is a mother?
Does anyone else struggle with prioritizing?
Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.