So I thought to write a typical back to school post, but I realized I wouldn’t have much new to add to the bevy of blogs currently circulating the net. Oh, gee, I guess I’ll toss confetti, too, and get it out of my system.
Sing it with me now: Freedom! FREEdom!!! FREEDOM!!!!!!!!
There. I feel better.
I used to enjoy back to school more when my spawn were much younger. Punting their little fannies out the door in elementary school meant six solid hours of peace, quiet and mommy sanity before chaos reigned once more at precisely 3:05 in the afternoon.
Now? Not so much. So back to school has lost some of its former luster for me.
My oldest, The Lone Bandana has flown the nest. He and the GF stop in for the occasional free meal or to “borrow” something, and after three long years of tough love get your shit together battles, he is a very productive member of society and now quite amiable to be around. Except, he’s no longer around, like I said. Seems once you’re finally able to tolerate your spawn, they leave. Life is funny like that.
Middle child, Spaz, a recent high school graduate, is in the throngs of indecision. To college, or not to college? That is the question. Well, here is the answer, son. To college, or there is the curb, to which I will kick your scrawny ass, because if you don’t go, then my job here is done and you are no longer my responsibility. Spaz chose college. Go figure.
And then there’s the baby, Gazelle Girl, a high school sophomore, whom I oft times referred to as ‘the mouth with feet’ because she spent the majority of her formative years sprinting through the house babbling incoherently. That’s paid off. She is now a Track and Cross Country star, and my last hope for scholarship money paying for her future.
Now, even though The Lone Bandana is gone, Spaz and Gazelle Girl still nest at home. College classes are sporadic, hence Spaz is sprawled on my couch more often than not, and GG is involved in every sport and activity known to man that I must attend and dutifully scream my lungs out at. That M-F six hour chunk of nirvana all moms celebrate come back to school day has long since disappeared for me.
No rest for the wicked, they say. And they were right.
So now what? How do I get those hours back? When will I find that elusive me-time all writers require to, you know, write? Until Spaz and GG go the way of The Lone Bandana?
We kicked TLB out early due to unforeseen circumstances that caused us to want to strangle him on a regular basis. Who’s to say we’ll get that lucky with the other two? It could be years before I find freedom and time alone to write again.
Take your laptop to your children’s events, the do-gooder advice-spewers say. Sure. Find me an outlet in the middle of a Cross Country meet and I’m there. Oh, or how about on the football field where Track and Marching Bands compete? My battery can’t really outlast these all-day events, can yours? Basketball is indoors, but those parents get extremely testy when the cord you’ve strung across the doorway trips up the entire team during their triumphant entry. Bad mom!
First and foremost, I am a proud mom. I kinda dig embarrassing my kids from the bleachers and I’m a little too ADHD (Squirrel!) to try and string together a coherent plot with a roaring crowd around me, so dragging my laptop to their events is a moot point. These years will pass too soon and I don’t want to miss out.
So, here’s the compromise. I force the squirmy buggers to sit their collective buttocks down at the kitchen table like any other responsible mother and make them do their homework – yes, even Spaz. My roof, my rules. I remind him of the ever encroaching curb when he balks.
And then I will join them. Or at least I plan to once classes get rolling and assignments pour in. This will be my time, too, to pound out chapters and word count goals I set for myself. All of us together until it’s done. Imagine that. The kids don’t have to be gone for me to write.
I’ve finally come to the realization that it doesn’t take isolation or huge chunks of solitude to finish the damn book. It takes commitment. Even if it’s only 50 or 500 words at a time.
I have a friend who made the commitment to write 500 words a day – without fail – until she completed the first draft of a novel that had sat unfinished for years. I am happy to say she made that goal. Even with a full-time job and two ankle-biters under the age of three! What an inspiration. Was it easy? Certainly not, as any mom knows. But she did it. And you can too. Hell, so can I, for that matter!
So, once the back to school bon-bons have been consumed and the dance through the house naked ritual is over, it’s time to get serious. Make the decision to commit to your writing, and then do it. That’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it.
Aw, gee, and here I wasn’t going to write a back to school post.
But I DID find the time to write today. <G> Did you?