In another world I shared our home life with various and sundry other people’s children, who wandered at will through our rooms, down our long hall and found their way into my front room … they grew up in Washington Heights with my own, from the Eighties, the Generation X’ers and my favorite group of good kids.
Boys were cordoned off into my son’s room to play and interact with their D&D characters and wanted little of me, other than a few boxes of pizza and a couple liters of soda.
The girls were more restless and roamed through the hall, from my daughter’s bedroom to the kitchen, the bathroom, my room and back and then back again, until they wore skid marks in the hard wooden floors. They giggled and pleaded to brush my hair, they held talent contests and sat on the floor when I threw a table-cloth down and declared we were having an indoor picnic. They mostly giggled and asked the questions little girls ask.
They grew up real good … the boys too.
Today, I am proud to present the reprint of a post from the blog of one of the young women who I have watched grow up, and become a successful professional, a wife and mother. She has a blog, writes for a sports blog and she is someone I have prodded to throw her pencil into the ring and join the ranks of thousands of other young mothers who struggle daily to find the “time” to write.
Without further editorializing, please enjoy … The Mommyvan …
Falling behind. November 15, 2010
At some point in time, when the humidity made me all clammy and rendered the donning of the nearly permanent summer ponytail, I felt like I’d had things under control. A PhD in multi-tasking perhaps. Proud for having kept off the forty-seven pounds I’d lost over the previous year, for having completed two triathlons and, generally keeping a somewhat together and happy household. The icing, of course, two sweet and happy boys who were entertained by yours truly for a long, hot summer. Mixed into the sun, the allergy cocktail of pollen and grass, and the ember and flames of barbeques, was a thought, formation (perhaps) of a goal to do something else. Something I needed to do, something I was OWED. To steal myself more time to indulge my longtime passion, escape and cheapest form of therapy… to write.
The nights were taken by the endorphin addiction…my need to work out. Swim, bike, run had garnered my plenty of fun, achieving the triathlon goal (and new hobby) and making me fitter on the outside in the process. The inside… the brain melt I’d suffered by 7:30PM was only half taken care of by the endorphin release of workouts. Somehow I needed to write, as I always did, to express myself, to release feelings, release humor…to inspire myself to something greater.
‘I’ll wake up at 6:30 in the morning,’ I thought. Then I immediately revised that to perhaps 6:15, or 6:00. Or, whatever the time would turn out to be when I set the alarm for whenever, accounting for that weird interval of fast I made my clock so as to afford me more time. (The mental math of it escapes me, but it always nets me more time than I need when I’m waking up obscenely early for ‘something.’)
It was a GOOD plan. It was a plan I followed… for TWO DAYS. Two days that were scattered across a gigantic expanse of calendar…. a grid of days that looked abundant tacked to my kitchen wall, or on my iTouch. Two days that MOCKED me and said ‘What the fuck happened?!?’ (The voice in my head then added.. SLACKER!’ for good measure.) Lack of time. Ironic, figuring the few random minutes I managed to steal with that fancy alarm clock maneuver. Apparently, it was not enough. Daytime sees laundry, chauffering the kids, trying to ‘run the household,’ which no one seems to care about and I make myself a bit nauseated about when I feel proud for the momentarily clean kitchen floor. Indeed these days, I DO cry over spilled milk.
After 7PM, when Eric arrives home, I usually bail out of the house to the gym. A stellar example of ‘A Bat Out of Hell,’ with my workout clothes donned, bag slung over my shoulder, iTouch loaded with music to carry me somewhere else. At the end of the day, I need to remind myself that I’m not the bitchy mom, the nagging wife, the broken record. I need to recharge myself, to feel good about myself for more than five-minute intervals of time. I get it.. and then the boomerang returns itself.
9PM…I arrive home. I shower. I don the practical pajamas. I heat a cup of tea. In another hour, I go to bed. 6:30AM usually brings some rumblings from Cole, who at the age of four, does not appreciate sleep as much as he should. And so it begins, the food, the getting stuff ready, the errands with one or two kids in tow. The domestic goddess crap that swirls about me like a tornado…eats up my time, decimates what every month looks like an optimistic and reasonable calendar of time to accomplish writing. Some writing… ANY writing. Not nearly enough writing. Not nearly anywhere near prodding the larger project I think about, but never have the balls to touch, or more correctly, to even begin.
Looking at the clock I figure, I NEED eight to nine hours of sleep. To be on the go for twelve-plus hours a day… my body, my mind, my patience, my Mary Poppins gear on overdrive, I NEED at least that. 10PM to 6AM gives me eight… so I’ve got a half-hour… right? A half-hour to write.. right?
There are several of you who occupy a place on my sidebar who might find a kindred spirit in this piece. It smacks of what I hear so many other women lament daily.
What I know from the stories on blogs and web pages, is that among the many women who attempt this gargantuan task, this incredible juggling act, there are hundreds who successfully publish in many genres.
I believe this young mother will be among those who succeed. I welcome your comments.
fOIS In The City