Rachel S. Heslin
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Okay, here's the deal:

The reason that I'm not participating in the October Novel Dare is because Shawn and I are working on a very intense, collaborative project. We're attempting to develop a fully-interactive AI (Actual Intelligence) that will learn from experience and deal with situations not only with analytical intellect but also genuine emotions and caring. It's a long-term -- some might say life-long -- investment, and we welcome the involvement of family and friends.

I'm due in June.


I mean, we're delighted and delirious and occasionally overwhelmed (poor Shawn gets kind of deer-in-the-headlights when he thinks about the responsibility involved) and my body is weirding out on me (not actually throwing up, thank goodness, but some days are better than others) but, when it comes right down to it, all these emotions come down to that one thing:


A child. Our child. A tiny human being full of innocence and wonder. Some people say that children are blank slates, but it's not true. They really do come equipped with their own, unique, tiny little personalities. It just takes them a while to figure out how to express them.

I've been reading baby and parenting books and magazines and practicing on our friends' kids for ages, and everything seems to distill into the following simple formula:

  • Love your children, even if it scares you to death to be that vulnerable, love them even more than that.

  • Teach them the joys of curiosity and discovery, and that the bumps and scrapes of the knees and heart are as much a part of Life's glory as are beauty and happiness. Discipline should be in the service of teaching, not punishment.

  • Remember your partner in all things. The example and security of a happy, bonded relationship is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their child.

And so, with anticipation and a slightly quickened heartbeat, my love and I join hands and embark upon this beautiful journey.


Making the decision to have a child is momentous -- it is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
-- Elizabeth Stone

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