OK, I realize I’ve been ignoring the blog a bit lately, but it’s been a busy time spreading the news about Mama, PhD. So I’m delighted to stop talking about that book (just for a moment) to announce the publication of my essay, “Wonderful Life,” in the new anthology, The Ultimate Christmas (Health Communications, Inc). The book is one-stop Christmas shopping, with essays, stories, recipes, pictures and advice on how to get through what can be a stressful holiday without losing sight of the magic. I’ve never shared space in a book with a martini recipe before, and I am well pleased. My piece is based on my Literary Column on It’s A Wonderful Life; here’s an excerpt:
Christmas Eve, 2002
It’s my first Christmas as a mom, and I as sit rocking infant Ben to sleep in the darkened room, I realize that the ubiquitous Christmas telecast of It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) is flickering on the ancient television. The sound is muted, but I remember the dialogue. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) has just learned that Uncle Billy misplaced the day’s deposit, and despite sacrificing his whole life for the Building & Loan, George is ruined. He can’t listen to his wife Mary cheerfully prattle on about their daughter Zuzu’s cold. He rages about the money spent on the doctor, their money-pit of a drafty house: “I don’t know why we don’t all have pneumonia!”
Ben stirs in his sleep and cries out. I hold my breath as I adjust his IV, which has tangled around my arm and pulled taut. I touch my lips to his sweaty head and he relaxes back into sleep. I exhale, relieved to have avoided another cycle of the anguished cries that raise his fever and bring the nurses running with another round of invasions.
We have pneumonia.
Go pick up a copy of The Ultimate Christmas to read the rest!