More than 18 years ago, something very special happened that has occurred only billions of times before. A child emerged into this world and as I held him when he was minutes old, I knew I’d never experience anything more beautiful.
But I got pretty close Friday.
For days I’d been waiting for the literary stork to bring me my first born, until I was informed the anticipated package had not even left wherever it was books were made (a part of publishing process that remains a mystery to me, but I am sure it involves cabbage patches, magic beans and glue).
Friday afternoon, when my dog Sandy delivered her “Evil is afoot” warning – a bark that accompanies doorbells, vacuums and approaching canines – I glanced outside and noticed a UPS truck. Probably just delivering more Eddie Bauer shirts to the guy two doors down, whose fashion sense is very manufacturer specific.
Curious, I watched the delivery guy lift the back gate, lean in and emerge with a compact box that appeared to be somewhat heavy, due to his grunt as he hefted it to his shoulder.
A box full of books might be that heavy. Could it be?
He turned toward the house and headed this way. Sandy’s barking went from “Evil is afoot” to “We’re all gonna die!” as the UPS man headed up the driveway.
I remained cool, continuing to stare out the window rather than rush to the door screaming, “The boosk the books the books!!” and potentially frightening the UPS dude.
I counted to, something, opened the door, threw a very casual “Thanks man” to the UPS guy as he walked away, and grabbed the box.
It was heavy. And the flaps bulged just a bit, as if straining to contain the awesomeness inside.
Slitting the packing tape with a knife, I folded back the flaps to reveal two neatly stacked rows of “Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie.”
More than five years ago, I’d written the first words of my first attempt at my first book. Up until this moment, it had existed as a series of electronic files. Real, but not really real.
I picked up the top book, ran my fingers along its shiny-smooth cover, admired my name.
You heard me. I admired my name. If there was ever a time to allow for some ego, this was it. I also am unapologetic about what I did next – opened the book to the middle to see my name atop an even-numbered page, then flipping through a dozen more pages to see my name go by over and over again.
I admired my book baby, knowing it was a special moment that has occurred millions of times before.