It’s 4:48 pm on a Wednesday. I find myself with an unexpectedly quiet house. Baby is asleep, after 45 minutes of my efforts to coax her into slumber, aided by some Orajel for her gums which will soon, I’m assuming, sprout a tooth. Of course, now that I’ve written this, she’s likely to wake up. I purposely did not make myself the cup of tea that I’m craving, because I have discovered it is a law of nature: mother sits down with hot cup of tea, baby wakes up. We have these lovely china cups with a thin silver rim that cannot be microwaved, and I don’t use them when there is no other adult around, because the chances of my having to re-heat the tea at least twice before being able to drink the whole thing are sky high.
Anyway. Six year old K is next doors (more on our life-saving, commune-like arrangement with our neighbors at some later date) playing “kid Monopoly” which seems to involve landing on pony rides and paying $3 for a house. Next door neighbor, who is currently hosting K, is making dinner for both households, so I am absolved of having to think about the evening meal. Hallelujah. And it will be a delicious, Vietnamese chicken and rice soup. Double Hallelujah.
And so. What to do with this found time, which could be two minutes or two hours? (Well, this time it couldn’t be two hours, as we’re feeding the kids early in order to go to their school’s Book Fair and classroom Open House.) There are so many possibilities jumping around in my head that I can barely formulate a single one to write down. Write down. That’s it. I’ve told myself recently that Found Time = Time to Write. Because when else am I supposed to do it? And yet, I have a manuscript to revise, a couple of short stories to redraft, a blog to resurrect. One hour a day, I tell myself. One hour a day. I think I can, I think I can. If it’s an hour over which I have control, i.e. I decide when to end it, as opposed to it ending suddenly because of a baby needing attention, a six year old wanting to chat, a meal needing cooking, a husband returning from work, the start of my own work-day, or any other interruption, then I’ll work on one of my pieces of fiction. Because being yanked out of the creative process at random is like being rudely awakened in the middle of a sleep cycle. You end up grouchy and foggy until you can get back in. Those times, when interruptions loom large, will be for short, bloggish writing.
In fact, here comes a curly headed interruption as I write.
(… insert game of Blockus, then arrival of next door kid, L. Now they’re both thudding around upstairs in K’s room, after my usual admonishments to be quiet and not wake the baby, and their usual rolling of eyes accompanied by we know, mom!)
I struggle with what to focus on in this blog. It’s not for lack of ideas. But my ideas, like my activities and the entries on my resume, are a motley bunch. I don’t like to narrow down my thoughts to a single topic. Just as I don’t want to choose from the list of entrées at a restaurant, but prefer to go for several appetizers. Tapas and mezze plates are my friends. There’s just too much out there to limit oneself to one thing at a time. My writing group says, just write what you want. If it’s good, people will come. Hmm. I’ll do my best. As K says, it’s ok as long as you do your best work, Mom.
And now the cute, fuzzy-headed interruption wakes.