Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Parenthood: The anti-writing.

I have small beings at my mercy. They rely on me for bodily sustenance and emotional succor. I feel an intense biological imperative to stop writing when they cry, and this can create problems for the writer on a deadline to produce a sequel for which at least several hundred people are anxiously waiting. What to do?

My only solution to date has been to flee the house at full gallop and assume a seated position in a nearby coffee shop where there is no one screaming. Doing so recalls the days of my youth when I could sit in a coffee house for hours writing self indulgently in a journal. I remind myself I am still that person before committing my fingertips to my keyboard, typing as quickly as possible before I am recalled to the home front to suck snot out of someone's nostril with a blue rubber bulb. Such is the absurdity of modern parenting.

It could be worse. I could be stuck in the Kalahari where there are no rubber bulbs. I imagine those mothers must suck snot out of their babies' noses by whatever means necessary, however revolting. They do not have publishing contracts. They do not have a nearby source of clean water, either, for that matter. So what am I complaining about?

Nothing. The truth is I'm lucky to be a writer and I'm very lucky to have sweet little children who need me very much. I'm even lucky to have gotten two hours of sleep last night because they all have colds and are miserable and cannot sleep themselves. When it all gets to be too much I just need to close my eyes and imagine walking through the sweltering desert with a clay pot full of water on my head. It's all relative.


  1. Yes, you're lucky to have your writing and your great family too! But yeah, flee the house. The only way to be able to totally concentrate while babies are fussing at home (or whatever they might be doing), is to NOT hear them at all, yet know they are in someone else's good hands.

  2. Can't say I ever sucked snot from a human's nose or ever want to. Moms are brave people.

  3. Just wanted to let you know I am giving away a copy of Glow on my blog in case any of your readers are interested in entering the contest! :)

  4. I understand the struggle. My little one (just one--can't contemplate more) just learned how to extend his arms and say "hug" with a expectant smile. It is not possible to continue writing after such a display of cuteness.