Friday, April 15, 2011

In the Balance

The last post represented here was hardly worth my effort, but it had been so dang long since I wrote something that I shoved it out to meet the world not properly dressed or turned out. Then I went back and edited it five times after I hit the publish button. There's a reason for that.

I have children, young children, and I have to spend time with them, because I gave birth to them. And, well, I love them tremendously. Their very existence trumps my need to write. Things had gotten off balance since I started this blog. I spent my baby's every nap time trying to hash out or revise a new piece of writing, frustration building evey time he awoke early. The fear of his waking early and disturbing my efforts so gripped me that I demanded silence from my Ella as she watched Scooby-Doo or PBS on TV. I barely found time to play a game of Memory with her or sit and do a puzzle.

I've turned things around, restored the balance. The two-plus hours TV for Ella was the first to go. Next I stopped trying to manic-control my son's naps just so I could have a long bout of uninterrupted writing. Instead of enforcing a no-talking zone in the hall while I wrote and percolated my thoughts, I sat on the living room rug to play Memory and Go Fish and Candy Land with my little girl. We cuddled in the recliner while I read to her. If Danny Sam awoke, I'd nurse him back down and cuddle with him. Ella has even fallen asleep in the afternoon. We all are more restful and a lot happier.

Of course, I still need to write. That is necessary for my mental balance. I have occasionally in my life reached the precipice in my writing cycle when I suddenly realize that I have no present urge to write, that I don't care if I write any time in the near future. It's a scary place to be, to feel a vital part of self has died quietly - no closure, no farewell. Thank heavens, it is always a false alarm, a temporary anemia, that is usually perpetrated at busy times in my life such as when I have recently given birth. And the urge to write slowly builds in that eerie creative quiet like a twister on a Midwestern plain, a funnel of thoughts and observations that overtakes me at last. It's scary and exhilirating, sometimes months in development, but then I know I must write again. And I do.

But writing is work. It's hard, no matter how much I love to do it. And I have a lot of work that requires my attention. As a mom you do learn to let go - let go of the house, let go of your ambition (temporarily), let yourself go (just kidding). But you can't let go of time spent with your kids. The opportunity never comes around again, so I'm easing back from the blog-wrangling; it's bruised my brain and sprained my perspective.

I have a vital occupation right now that requires all of my capabilities. I am a writer, but I am prouder to say that I am the mother of Berto, Analisa, Ella and Danny Sam.

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