In his most earnest voice he asked, “Can I buy some-sing with my money I saved up from itunes?” My breath was caught on the beauty of his innocence. He had no idea what he was saying. With his handful of coins, some of which were mearly tokens leftover from a bowling alley birthday party a few months back, I immediately saw myself in the believing eyes of my three-year-old.
Yesterday, after I got home from the conference Phil announced we would be going to the Lego store. With three boys, that store is always a hit. Zachary ran off to his room and came back with those coins, his eyes dancing with excitement.
That is probably about what I looked like to the agents I met with at this writing conference. My writing was not nearly good enough to get me what I wanted from their store.
My son being three, I did not explain to him how little was in his hands. It is not the appropriate time for him to learn this lesson. What was important was that he brought what he had and believed he was contributing.
But I am no longer three and it was time from me to learn some of the harsh realities of the world of writing and where I might stand in it. And then I am left with a choice: do I take my tokens home and cry or to do I go back and work to get more in hope that next time I will have what it takes? Maybe a little of both.
Truthfully I am left with many more questions than that, but I will save those for another day. To sum up the conference, it was painfully invaluable in more ways than I could count. I am so very glad I went.
And thanks to my son, the sting has lifted a bit. I can see the beauty in coming with my handful of coins, even if it was not nearly enough.