TITLE: The Perfect Balance
By Michelle Somers
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Nevertheless, I submit to you that the truth is just the opposite. Yes, parenting is hard. But where else would you find such a wellspring of original material? No two kids are the same, no two pregnancies, no two deliveries – and no two potty training experiences. That’s the beauty of it.
A writer is the perfect witness to all the joys of parenthood.
Throughout history, the scribe has occupied a notable yet invisible place in society. Charged with the responsibility of taking a back seat to the action, a writer must retell the series of events with front row clarity. Writers are not the main attraction, but the show cannot go on without them… Well it could, but no one would know.
Anyhow, the back seat observatory position of the writer is most valuable as parents. Face it, once our children are born, our identities morph into invisibility much like the writer. As parents, it is our responsibility to bear witness to the lives of our children and if that parent is a writer – all the better. Who else is equipped with the vocabulary and descriptive imagination to record the hits and near misses of parenthood in such stunning detail as to warn parents to be of what’s in store? None but the parent-writer.
The challenge for the parent-writer, however, is finding the balance... Diligently working to perfect your craft while flexing your parenting muscle, which I am sure, will be found woefully inadequate when the cherubs reach puberty. Ideally, in order for the “parent” and “writer” to peacefully co-exist, there would be lots of time to relax on a velvet chaise, with a laptop and the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea while writing prose that will move the average reader to tears. For the rest of us living a chaise-less existence the question remains, how do you find the balance and find the time create the perfect writing environment?
Just as there is no perfect time to have a baby, there is no perfect time to write. You have to take it as it comes – just be sure you have something to write it down on when it does come.
Write, write, write it all down. Journal it before nodding off to sleep while reading the "Tales of Peter Rabbit" for the fifth time - just write it down before you lose the beauty of the moment. Jot down the delight you felt as you watched your toddler scale to the top of the jungle gym for the first time. Whip out your pen and explain to your notepad why your eyes glistened with tears as you watched your pre-teen daughter stealing second to secure the tying run. Describe the “oh-no-he-didn’t” horror as you noticed the pre-teen boys who also watched your preteen daughter stealing second.
“You don’t want to miss a thing” as Steven Tyler would say. After bath time or before breakfast, you can re-write, edit and perfect to your heart’s content. The important thing is to capture it before it goes. Once you realize that, the parent-writer is sure to strike the perfect balance.
God made children. God made parents. God made writers. In so doing, He created the perfect, creative ecosystem where a lifetime of material grows within the carefully cultivated habitat of the parent-writer.
Writing’s hard, parenting’s harder and all’s right with the world.
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