The Next Chapter

I started writing a weekly column in August of 2015. My first piece was about how my two-year-old daughter refused to eat green beans – a stance to which she was so committed that not even the promise of chocolate cake for dessert could compel her to let the dreaded vegetable cross her lips.

That beautiful, belligerent toddler is now eight years old. She is still iron-willed, but has learned to compromise – sometimes – on the subject of vegetables.

So many things have changed in the intervening five and a half years. I got divorced. I moved – a couple times. I bought a house. And a dog. My job changed and grew. My children changed and grew. I fell in love – with a man; with art; with a brave and free version of myself that had been asleep at the wheel for far too long.

Through it all, I wrote. I joke that writing is cheaper than therapy – except it’s not a joke at all. Writing helps me process my life, to sift through the events and emotions and find some humor, or (if I’m lucky) maybe even a little bit of wisdom.

I’m not the same person I was five years ago. I’ve gained far more than I’ve lost – like art, and love, and inspiration. It’s that last one that is actually going to pull me away from regular column composition.

With fear, trembling, and profound joy, I will be launching my own business later this year. For many years, I have dreamed of opening a children’s bookstore and I am finally ready to bring that dream to life. With an art studio thrown in just for fun! As a single mom with a full-time job, it feels a bit like juggling plates – and then throwing a chainsaw into the mix. I recognize that I need to set something down or risk losing a hand.

I’m choosing to set down the column. It was that or dinners for the kids and somehow, I felt like they’d notice if I stopped feeding them.

The timing feels right for my family, too. As the kids get older, it becomes harder and harder to balance my instinctive over-sharing (which I like to think of as refreshing honesty) with their totally legitimate desire for privacy. I’ll be parenting a teenager in a few months. Lord help us all. Please send chocolate.

This isn’t my Final Missive Ever. At the very least, I have some thoughts to share about my journey to small business ownership. That’s comedic fodder if ever I’ve seen any! Hopefully, those thoughts will find their way into the paper at some point.

And if you have enjoyed the “voice” of this column all these years, I think you’ll enjoy following Plaid Elephant Books on social media or via email updates – even if you aren’t in the market for children’s books or original artwork. Although really, who isn’t in the market for children’s books or funky artwork?

Thank you for your support, dear readers. Your kind words have meant so much to me. Be well.

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