...in a romance novel again.
I went through a period (of years) during which I didn't write any babies in my romance novels, and I think out of over 30 books, only a small handful have babies in a secondary role. I've had small-kid characters a time or two, but again, they rarely show up. Of course you know why...these years correspond to the sleepless years, the stepping-on-Lego-in-the-dark years, the can-I-get-through-the-day-without-a-child-crying years. While I love my kids, my husband, our family, when it came to writing romance novels, I preferred to explore love with characters who weren't worrying about whether thechildren would sleep through the night or who didn't wonder about the long-term effects of a diet of fish sticks and applesauce.
But I suspected my mood might be changing when I wrote a lavish epilogue for my last trilogy. I dithered and dithered (and talked about it on the blog) but eventually realized I wanted to show my three sort-of sisters ten years down the road, including pregnancy, babies, and children. It didn't feel like a happy ending for the girls from Malibu & Ewe without it.
And then this happened...
I threw her mother a bridal shower a few years back. In December I gave another party, a baby shower and that night her parents announced she would be a girl and shared her name with us. She was born a week ago Saturday. The following afternoon, Sunday, I received a phone call from her new grandparents (who live across the street from us). Did I want to come over and see the baby? She was there! I'd just stepped out of the shower, but I ran over with wet hair, afraid she might go home at any moment.
What I got...was to hold her, a baby 27 hours old. What I did was remember exactly what it's like to fall in love. Her new grandma and I marveled over every finger, every toe. We watched her make sweet faces in her sleep. We ran gentle hands over her head. This is what babies bring, this sense of welling emotion that rests right on the surface. When you're under the influence of baby, I realize, you're just primed for love. I see new kinds of stories in my future.
What about you? Held a newborn recently? I highly recommend. And in romances, do you like babies and children or do you prefer to read about just a couple coming together?