Here's the man everybody loves to hate: the umpire. Just kidding, folks :) My husband is back to umpiring games at the tournament. At first I was anxious that he'd be gone on evenings and weekends, but the children go along with him and help out, so it has actually afforded me quiet time to write. It's been a win-win situation for everybody. Little League needs the help, my husband enjoys the game, and the children help out with set up and concessions. The only downside is that we're all getting to bed later than usual. So we're all a bit tired and cranky.
This summer, I've not only been revising my novel steadily, but also worked on several work-for-hire projects (on a super-tight deadline) and I wouldn't have been able to do that if my husband didn't take the children out of the house. He's taken the children to all the away swim meets so that I don't have to drive. I'll spend that time writing (and procrastinating like I am now). He'll also make supper ... long-time readers know he's an award-winning cook. My perpetually 4-mo pregnant look is a testament to his cooking. Here he is, grilling the best brats. But he makes salmon that is on par with the best restaurants, and the only reason I like beef is because of the way he barbecues it. Smoky Daddy.
I don't know what I'd do without him. He's sustained my writing dream when I've been ill or too tired to write. He has encouraged me every step of the way. The children too, have been a part of my writing life. They read and give feedback. Sometimes unsolicited! Oddly enough, they are much kinder with their opinions when it comes to my friends' mss. Although their suggestions to fix things are almost always off the mark, I find that their reactions priceless. It's my job as a writer to revise what doesn't resonate, and they are good about flagging problem areas.
We're having a great summer so far. Lots of swimming. The children are turning into little brown fishies. They've improved so much and I'm so proud of them for rising to the challenge. They were initially not at all excited to get up first thing in the morning for swim practice. "It's summer," they groaned. "I should be able to sleep in." But they get up and ride their bikes to the pool and train for an hour. They've made friends on their team and love hanging out at the meets -- that's when they socialize. Here they are, giving it their best.
My son took a lot of pictures at the beach. My favorite is of my daughter catching a wave! He caught it on video too, so I'm happy to share it. I'm in the black swimsuit who missed the wave! But the water is wonderfully cool on hot days. Tepid even. I tell you, it's great living here in the South -- the sun, the warmth, the people -- are all fantastic. Even when it's hurricane season. And now I must work on that novel while the rest of the family is at the ballgame.