The parent of any preschooler knows their son or daughter can't go to bed alone. These tots don't watch NCIS like I do--though they may enjoy reruns in a decade or so--and they haven't heard Special Agent Gibbs say, "Grab your gear." But young children need the bedtime ritual of grabbing all the gear they'll need to take the sometimes scary journey into dreamland.
My nephew's gear consisted of a stack of books and a flashlight. My oldest son needed a certain small pillow and a pacifier. The second child required a blanket to accompany his thumb a la Linus. However, my youngest has taken the concept to a whole 'nother level.
Four-year-old Peter's bedtime gear includes a menagerie of stuffed friends. As an infant, he began sleeping with a blue, puppy-faced blankie. As he started crawling, he added a tan, brown, and white, floppy-eared pup. As a toddler, he permanently borrowed his older brother's birthday present--a humongous dog, whose body has so little stuffing, it's barely more than a dog-skinned rug with a fluffy head and fat feet. Those same feet poke into my back at night, tricking me into thinking they're parts of Peter. I lay in uncomfortable positions, afraid to move for fear of rolling onto my child or at least waking him. Morning finds me illogically glaring at the stupid inanimate object for ruining my sleep. No use whining on my part as Big Dog is a keeper. Though larger than Peter, my son valiantly carries Big Dog up or down the stairs like a victorious hunter. But Peter's preference isn't exclusive to canines. He's also attached to Chip and especially Dale, whose red nose and tuft of hair makes him a favorite. As if the bed wasn't already crowded, Mickey Mouse is a new permanent addition. Others animals come and go on a whim. Tonight, Owl has a place too.
What's this story got to do with writing, besides giving me a chance to share a really cute photo of my child? Well, the back-to-school sales have me itching to stock up on writing gear. Are my highlighters dry and need replacing? Don't I need colored index cards for scenes for my wip? Look at those Sharpies. Can I justify more pens, notebooks, and binder clips? Aspiring-writer Lisa Jordan has admitted an addiction to Post-It Notes. I find them hard to resist too.
What gear do you need before you begin to write? Please share your favorites. You just may give me an idea of what to buy next time I peruse the office supply aisle.
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