Mama! Are You Coming?

Blog / Produced by The High Calling

The year was 2000. My kids were little. Having approved the final proofs of my first published book, I was anxiously awaiting the case of printed-and-bound author copies due to arrive any day via UPS.

One afternoon a friend brought her kids over for a play date with mine. She and I sat chatting while our kids drew pictures, created Playmobil kingdoms, and chased each other in a round of tag. The house was an explosion of toys; and the yard, a cacophony of noise.

Suddenly—the doorbell.

"This might be it!" I said, knocking over a plastic castle in my rush to the door.

"Your book?” my friend exclaimed. “I'm with you for the delivery of your book?"

Sure enough, the UPS man set the big box of books on my porch and handed me something to sign. As he drove off, my friend and I hauled the box inside and set it on the kitchen counter. I pulled out a steak knife to slit the tape.

“Careful!” she cautioned. “You don’t want to scrape the top copy!”

“I’m shaking,” I said. “I’ll go slow.”

As I slid the tip of the knife along the edge, my friend kept saying, "I can't believe it! I can’t believe I’m here for this!

I lifted the flaps and tossed aside some packing material. We peered in for a first glimpse of the cream-colored covers. I pulled out two copies and handed her one.

“Really?” she asked. “I can hold it?”

“Of course…if your hands are clean.” She wiped her palms on her jeans and held them up for inspection. When I chuckled my approval, she took the book and gazed at it. We ran our hands over the smooth cover, admired the photography, and carefully peeked at the pages without bending the spine.

This golden moment lasted all of about twenty-seven seconds before our herd of kids came galumphing into the house.

"We're hungry!" they announced. “Can we have a snack?” At that same moment, one of my daughters shouted from the bathroom, “Mama! Can you wipe me?”

My friend and I looked at each other. I shrugged, she grinned. We gingerly placed the books back in the box. As I folded down the cardboard flaps for safekeeping, the kids begged for popsicles—and from the bathroom, my child's voice rang out again: “Mama! Are you coming?”

Image by L.L. Barkat. Used with permission. Post by Ann Kroeker, author of Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families.