Whomever scheduled…

Whomever scheduled NaNoWriMo
was not a mother. Probably not a woman
at all. If youre going to write a novel
in a month, November may be the worst
month to try it in. Sandwiched between
costume-candy frenzy and cookie-baking-
present-giving-home-decorating extravaganza
(that at least comes with a week or two
of vacation, for most of us), November is,
if not the cruelest month, the most harried.
The pressure to make memories warmer,
ideally, than those of your childhood, rises up
and smothers what is left of your brain
in recipes, lists, and anxiety that something
crucial will be forgotten; your children
will never forgive you. Forever a gaping
hole will wait in the pit of their soul where
cornbread stuffing and gravy should live.
And if you are the one who hosts the
meals, who fills the house with laughter
and arguments and togetherness, then
you are the one who has filled at least a
work-week of hours with the planning
and the shopping and the chopping
and the stewing. You don't want thanks
exactly. You do this so you, and they,
will enjoy themselves, and if they really
thought about the labor involved, they
might fret about that instead, which would
ruin the whole endeavor. All I'm saying is,
November is not a month for novels,
unless what you're actually saying is
mothers should just stick to poetry.

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