We just removed the baby gates from the top and bottom of our stairs. It was a big deal to the kids. For my son, there had been a gate on one part of the stairs for his entire four years of life. For my daughter, there had been a gate on both ends of the stairs for her entire memory--the past year, basically. But now they are gone.
The next morning both kids stood at the top of the stairs in astonishment. The gates were really gone!
"Where's the gate?" my two-year-old asked.
"Daddy took it to work. He needs it there," my son said with authority. Sure, that made sense.
These symbols of security had been removed from their lives, and the transition wasn't easy. It was harder than changing my son from a crib to a double bed, getting rid of the pacifier, losing the afternoon nap. They continue--five days into the mysterious gate disapperance--to ask, "Where's the gate, Mommy?"
And so I realize, our first manuscript is a little like this gate. It becomes our security, always there to fall back on. Like my son, we try to fix it, even though it is large and unweildy. We go at it from every angle, refusing to give up on its viability.
Eventually, we must admit we don't need that old MS anymore. We have grown beyond it. We have created better work since it and will create better work because of it. Maybe you shouldn't chuck it like my husband and I did with the baby gates, but perhaps there is a deeper hole than your reachable desk drawer. That is usable space, after all.
Do you have a security MS?
Tomorrow, author T.H.E. Hill will be here with his book, Voices Under Berlin. And today's the last day to vote in the poll! Let your voice be heard...