You’ll be able to tell that my mind is empty when I write about writing. Today it’s raining. The candles are lit , the coffee is hot, and the baby is wide awake. So he’s in his highchair, kicking and bouncing and devouring anything I can plop in front of him: roasted sweet potatoes, hand me down baby yogurt (thanks Cedar Baby), my left over oatmeal from breakfast, and pieces of the hot dog I’m eating for lunch. This random assortment of sacrifices on the alter of my son’s highchair should buy me 15 minutes to type. So I will type about writing.

I am not going to edit these posts (too much). Ted thinks its better this way, and I agree. My head is home to a world dominating tyrant, and I’ve found that I have better friendships when she comes out in safe, little realms. One of those is editing. Ruling the realm of writing is a safe place for a tyrannical Queen who wants her hands in everything. (Hold on, dipping Augustine’s spoon in yogurt). But my editor has long kept my writer in chains, pen and ink and laptop just out of her reach, spirit crushed by the hope just out of hand. But something happened last week and there was a jailbreak in my head. My writer came forth, and I couldn’t sleep for all the pent up words pouring forth. So Ted, whom I might venture to call the Hand of Queen (though, George R.R. Martin tends to kill each Hand before a few chapters are up), has ruled in the Queens name that this is the space for the writer. The editor may hold court every once in a while, but she can’t settle in (we’ve seen how well that’s gone for Daenerys at Mereen).

That’s enough Game of Thrones references for today. Just remember that this is a space for my little writer to write. And you have Ted Sangalis and Jordan Smith to thank for that.

As I’ve entered this identity-tilting season of motherhood, I’ve known that my identity is safe with Ted. He’s known who I am and has been trying to free my writer long before I wanted to. And as the baby’s grown inside of me and now out, I haven’t been afraid of losing myself in the dishes or the diapers or the years because I’ve known that Ted has been waiting and urging and carving out space in our life for my writer.

Last night, for example, we exchanged Christmas presents. It’s an unintentional tradition for us to exchange them with each other well before the holiday, because I can’t wait to give him what I’ve spent all year searching for (this year, leather sneakers). And once I know that his gift for me is hidden in our house, Game Over: Christmas On. So he opened the Christmas pajamas I bought our whole family, and I opened the next book in the Game of Thrones series, and he opened the shoes, and I opened the book “All the Light We Cannot See.” It’s this year’s Pulitzer prize winner. He said that from now until forever he intends to gift me Pulitzer Prize winning books because he knows how madly I love Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose (a former Pulitzer winner). And he knows that my writer needs more writer friends. My Sun and Stars really is over the moon that I’m writing and accepting myself as a writer.

You can thank Jordan Smith for being vocally awesome, inspiring, and my spirit animal. And I feel like watching him during Season 9 of The Voice helped me to reconcile myself as a creative. He’s just my favorite favorite and I’m crazy in love him (wink at Coach Gwen). His voice is perfection, but he looks a little like Gru from Despicable Me. And he’s as sincere a human being as they come. And I think he might love Jesus as Lord, just like I might love his version of “Set Fire to the Rain” better than Adele’s (I know, that’s sacrilegious, but you should watch him sing it here and not judge me.) You’d never expect someone as grounded and self possessed as this sweet guy to be able to rock the divas (Beyonce, Sia, Adele), sing Queen, old hymns, the Beach Boys and STILL be able to hold his own in a duet with USHER. At 22 years old. Damn. And Pharrell Freaking Williams said that his greatest hope is that Jordan won’t be changed by his label and become someone who is “chart chasing, but just [be] Jordan Smith.”

Honestly, what more could any of us want but to have our wilting and timid self fully accepted and affirmed by the best of the best? So I thought, if Jordan can find success as he is, maybe I can, too. So, I turned to Ted and told him that Jordan Smith is my spirit animal.

And right now, success for me in writing is that I wrote this and posted it. Not that I edited it or think it’s mind blowing and awesome and world changing. But that I said something. And I wrote words and practiced my sentences and different ways to turn phrases. Augustine is out of his high chair and now trying to eat my computer. He, I, and our Christmas tree are all covered in splattered yogurt. And if I don’t hit send soon my computer may be history.



Ps. Hey Ted! I figured out why I need those really cool, on trend, clear glasses. To wear when I’m writing so that I can wear my dark frames when I’m editing. Cool, clear frames for the writer and dark, stern frames for the editor. A physical representation of the inward change. Like baptism but for my face. I’ll call the eye doctor and get my prescription. When does our vision insurance expire?