The Second Child Syndrome

Big Sis and Little Guy

Big Sis and Little Guy

I was weeding out paperwork over the recycle bin the other day (read: tossing kindergarten homework) when I realized something. I’d put together a box – a big put-together-style box from Staples of adorable artwork and first writing projects, etc from Big Sis. Starting in preschool and going through first grade (because, truly, after that it’s just not quite as cute anymore).  But I had never done the same thing for Little Guy.

Yep... facepalm moment.

Yep… facepalm moment.

The only thing that is saving me in this situation is the fact that I am slightly behind on the paperwork weeding. The stuff I was doing before? That was just to clear off the kitchen table. But the desk, the filing cabinet, the microwave cart? Well, let’s just say I hope to have a boxful for him once I get all that sorted through.

But this leads me to examine what other things I’ve slacked on with the youngest that I went all out on with the oldest. She got Mommy and Me classes. He did not. She got story times at Barnes & Noble. He got… a couple of them. She got trips to the toy store and the bookstore to buy awesome new things to play with. He got…to play with the hand-me-down toys and listen to the chewed-on, colored-over picture books.

I kept a journal with each of them, including milestones from their first three years. (Though his is decidedly thinner.) And I did manage to take as many (if not more) photos of him as I did with her. Though that could be because I’m obsessed with documenting the cute moments and camera phone technology is a lot better now. 😉 But I swear we only dig out the digital camera for our one family vacation per year and Christmas morning. So, thank God for those cameras in our phones!

When Big Sis was a baby, it was just the two of us all day. I saw everything. I marveled at all the changes, all the milestones. Do you know who caught Little Guy rolling over for the first time? Big Sis. She had to tell me after the fact. I missed it.

Double facepalm moment.

Double facepalm moment.

Life goes fast. They come home so tiny and helpless and then the next thing you know, they are tugging their hand out of yours and telling you not to embarrass them in public. (Sorry, kiddo – I’m your mom – it’s my job.) I think a portion of today is going to be spent weeding through paperwork to get to the cute stuff. I need a reminder of my Little Guy when he wasn’t quite such a pro at reading and writing. When he couldn’t count to one hundred backwards or list dozens of random facts about the presidents. I need to make sure I’ve got plenty of memory-joggers to keep me company when my Little Guy is all grown up with little guys and gals of his own.

Geez, even this photo is several months outdated. I tell ya, I'm slacking!

Geez, even this photo is several months outdated. I tell ya, I’m slacking!

Celebrate the Small Stuff!

celebrate

 

Yay! You’re published! Now you just sit back and wait for the money to come in, right? Wrong.

The very first thing I learned about having a book on the market is that I am ONE author in MILLIONS. Getting my books seen, reviewed and (one can dream) bought, is extremely hard and very discouraging. I’ll admit to trolling Amazon a couple of times a day — more if I have a new release — to check out my sales rank on a particular title. And really, the only purpose this serves is to depress me even more. So don’t do it, right? Easier said than done.

But one thing I find that gets me through the hard times (and there are a lot of hard times) is to celebrate all the small things. Successes, milestones, new things tried — there are more than we realize.

fireworks

 

I celebrate a new person that “likes” me on Facebook. I celebrate sending out my first newsletter, and the fact that I figured it out all by myself. I danced myself silly the first time I got a letter in the mail – an honest to goodness fan letter. And then the first one that I discovered in my in box.

When I guest blog on another author’s site and it generates a lot of comments – celebratory moment. When I update my website (OMG, I hate doing that!) and everything finally lines up correctly, that is a celebrate-with-chocolate moment. When I then learn that a friend of a friend of a friend was gushing about following said website? Swoon!

This past week I was in the dumps about sales on my recent new release. I guess January is NOT an ideal month to have a new book out. So I am trying new things, distracting myself with Twitter and experimenting with new hashtags. Lo and behold, I was followed by Starbucks. Much happy dancing and ignoring of sales ranks ensued.

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Some days it’s enough to celebrate that I got my word count in. Right now it looks like I’ll be submitting my latest book to my publisher at least two weeks ahead of my deadline. MAJOR celebrating there! Celebrating author accomplishments does not have to mean sales. Heck, I was thrilled just to receive a W-2 this year — something that I didn’t get with all $25 I made the year before. 😉

It’s the little things that make us happy. And there are WAY more little things than the built up big things we stick so much importance on.

So celebrate the little things. Eat chocolate. Dance in your underwear and sing into your hairbrush. And tell the rest of us about what you’re celebrating so we can join in with you.