Carole had some good points in her comment on my last blog post (see comments). Thank you, Carole, for giving me some good food for thought. Maybe she's right. Maybe I shouldn't limit myself to writing about writing (as thrilling as that topic sounds). Even if I wanted to, I'm sure I won't be able to restrain myself from writing about my kids and our grocery store adventures. So, rest assured there will still be lots of kid/mommy musings on this blog.
I guess I wanted to narrow the focus of the blog a little because I'm just aching to write about what I'm currently struggling with. I have kind of settled into the whole mom routine. I haven't mastered it by any means, but I have resigned myself to the laundry and the puking and the sippy cup valves being welded to the bottom of the dishwasher. Those things aren't so compelling to me anymore. Not that I don't enjoy reading about others' kid-related drama, because I do; I just don't feel the compulsion to run to the computer each time something like that happens and write about it. What I do struggle with lately is how to take this mom person who has become so at home behind the wheel of a minivan, and reconcile her with this writer person who still lives inside of me.
Anyone relate to that? I have a feeling I'm not unique. Maybe you don't want to be a novelist, but you probably have other ambitions that you are pursuing or wish you could pursue that don't involve stain removal or breastfeeding.
I read this essay recently and it is haunting me. It's about a mom of four small children who is accepted to medical school (to her dream school). She writes about what it's like to hack away at a cadaver all day and then come home to a very lively household. Wow. If she can do that, I should be getting way more accomplished than I do. It is a beautifully written piece. Read it if you get a chance.
And here's something I read that made me cry. I was really at a low point this summer when I read it, feeling like there would never be time to pursue my own work, that three toilet-trained kids would be my magnum opus in life. But then I came across this essay and it felt like the writer had written a letter to me, reminding me that I am exactly where I need to be, doing the most important work I can possibly be doing, and that writing while the kids are asleep is enough and is infinitely better than an imagined alternative: no children sleeping in their beds, no messes to clean up at the end of the day, no baby food stains to wash out. The food stains and the laundry are not the point; they are by-products of a life lived with children, in other words, a life surrounded by wonder, imagination, raw emotion and immeasurable love.