I grew up watching the Christmas special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, with Mickey Rooney playing the voice of Chris Kringle. Anybody who had seen that remembers at least vaguely Chris’s encounter with the Winter Warlock and Winter’s question of how to change and the answer he received “just put one foot in front of the other…”. I think I was somewhere between four and five when I first saw that cartoon. My mother latched onto that silly song in her efforts to get me to walk, even if it was just a few unsteady steps, because a doctor had recently told her that if I hadn’t tried to walk before now that I wouldn’t be able to ever not even with help. Suffice to say my mother felt that was an unacceptable answer. She sang that song every time she would stand me up to remind me not to cross my ankles and to pay attention where I put my feet. I was sure I was going to lose my mind. To this day whenever we watch it (yes I still watch it at Christmas along with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and Frosty The Snowman) I glare her into next week if she even starts to hum it.
However when I got into tough spots in college I always heard Mom sing that silly song. Now that I’m trying in earnest to finish the book that’s been in my head for so long it’s like the crazy song is on continuous repeat. Smile, it helps believe or not, because even if it is just one paragraph, one sentence, or even one tiny two letter word, it is still more than I had before, one step further across the floor, and one day I will be walking out of some publishers door minus one manuscript and with a sense of accomplishment that almost matches the day I proved that first pediatrician wrong.