The Awkward Answer to the "So I Heard You Were Writing a Book" Question

There's a book in there somewhere...
Recently, Knute and I were at get together at our church with the kiddos; it was a KOC function with plenty of food in the usual bring-a-covered-dish style that is the hallmark of Catholic parish life.

The kids, thrilled at the lavish spread which included multiple mac-n-cheese offerings as well as a whole table just.for.desserts, busied themselves with eating all their faves with their friends and drinking as much Sprite or Coke as they could before being cut off by Knute or myself. (Why yes, we are the corn-syrup-soda-caffeine killjoys.)

Knute and I found ourselves with the rare opportunity to just sit and chat over a nice meal that neither one of us had to prepare or clean up.  Eventually, folks we knew wandered over, drawn by the sight of our cute baby who sat perched atop our table in her car seat carrier, snoozing away. 

One friend ended up sitting down at our table to eat his plate.  We talked for a bit, catching up on summertime happenings and sharing vacation stories.  Then he looked over at me and asked,

"So I heard you are writing a book?"

Whereupon Knute and I both looked at each other and burst out laughing.

So first, to that kind friend who sat munching on little sandwiches with a puzzled look on his face as Knute and I busted the proverbial gut with our giggles, I want to say this:

I'm sorry.

You asked an innocent enough question, one that's come my way over the years from a number of people, kind friends and strangers alike.  Please know that in no way, shape, or form were Knute and I laughing at you.  I pinky promise.

But the laughter, you ask, dear readers?  From whence did such knee-slapping, borderline-rude-guffawing come, pray tell?

Knute and I have been married for eighteen years (dude, 18!) and were dating then engaged for three years prior to getting married.  When I turned thirty-eight back in 2011, we had officially spent half our lives together. Now that I'm mere days from the big Four-Oh, both of us can say with genuine authority that we have been together most of our lives, a fact that both makes me giddy and gives me a deep peace every time I contemplate it.

Why?

Because nothing compares to a good marriage.

One of the most interesting by-products of a good marriage (besides our four good-looking kids) is the way a shared life, a shared history, shapes the way you both think to the point of nearly being able to read each other's minds.

Our immediate laughing reply to our friend's question was genuine and honest, a reflection on how crazy busy our lives have been in the last eighteen months since we discovered we were expecting kiddo #4.

Who the heck has time to write a book?

But there is a deeper meaning to that laughter, too.

Beneath that first knee-slapping response lies a knee jerk reaction to a more guarded place, a quiet place that every one of us has in our soul.

Do you know this place?

A place where your deepest dreams lie dormant as seeds in the earth*, just waiting for the right time to burst forth and grow?

When you are in a good marriage, you share a life together, a life that includes ups and downs, fantastic times and dark, scary valleys.  A life that is built on love and hope and faith and dreams.

Knute and I have been pilgrims together in this life for so long, bearing each other's burdens and sharing each other's dreams, that he knows where that seed lies waiting in my soul.  When we laughed together in honest hilarity at the Book Question, hope bubbled up to the surface, too.

So.

The Awkward Answer.

Yes.

But no.

See what I mean?

Kinda makes you want to laugh, too, doesn't it?

...and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know.