When I set myself toward a goal, no matter what that goal is, I tend to want to get to it as quickly as possible. When I make a decision, I want to act on it right away.
That’s not always the best approach.
In Susanna Leonard Hill‘s wonderful picture book Not Yet, Rose, little Rose is having a very hard time waiting for her baby brother or sister to be born. Her parents have to keep telling her “not yet, Rose.”
In my desire to get to my goals, I sometimes need to tell myself, “Not yet, Beth.” For example, I’m working on a novel for adults at the moment. It’s a major rewrite of a manuscript I wrote about four years ago. I have scrapped huge chunks of the old manuscript, and am writing new chapters. I get impatient with that process. I want it to be done! But taking shortcuts will not create the book I hope this will be. “Not yet, Beth.”
There are other times when I want to just leap into something, but I know in the long run, it will be best to wait until the groundwork is done. “Not yet, Beth.”
But, as with little Rose, hearing “not yet” doesn’t mean just flouncing off and saying, “Forget it, then.” Rose worked at preparing herself for her new sibling. I am working, too. Slowly getting that manuscript rebuilt in a way that serves the story and is the best writing I can do. Waiting on other things until the time is right for them.
It’s active waiting, not passive. “Not yet” doesn’t mean “never” — it means “there is still something to be done before the time is right.”
Thank you, Rose, and thank you, Susanna, for that learning. Now… I have some work to do.
Author: Susanna Leonard Hill
Illustrator: Nicole Rutten
Publisher: Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2009
Genre: Picture book, fiction
Audience Age: 3-8
Themes/Topics: Waiting, new sibling, patience
Opening Sentences: On Monday, Rose wanted a sister. She raced into her parents’ room. “Is the baby here yet?” she asked. “Not yet, Rose,” said her mother.
Review Link: Julie Hedlund reviewed this book in 2012 for Perfect Picture Book Friday. You can find her review and suggested activities here.
Availability: Ask your local bookstore to get it in, or order it online – it’s available to order from Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, NY. Let’s keep this wonderful book in print!