Sunday, July 01, 2007

Adventures in Demented Parenting

Life happens. It even happens to us writers—much as we wish we could just focus on the words and stories we’re creating.

Not only does life happen, but kids (even adult ones) can really happen to us! Here are some brief snippets of what my week has been like:

Up at 5 am, getting to the airport and discovering all flights delayed, sweet talking a gate agent to rebook me on an earlier (still delayed) flight, sprinting through an airport so that I can make my connection with 2 minutes to spare, luggage arriving at midnight, sitting on a pile of blankets at 9 in the morning so my son (Down syndrome) can’t go back to bed and has to get ready for his program, thinking that maybe it’s a good thing there’s no whiskey in the house because drinking this early in the morning probably wouldn’t be a good idea.....

By the second day, whiskey at 9:30am isn’t looking like such a bad idea.

By Saturday I’m hiding the phone so that he can’t make phone calls to God only knows who at 1 o’clock in the morning!

Life happens. As writers, it can be difficult to find ways to carve out the time we need to write. And yet, if we don’t, we lose part of ourselves and our ability to cope with the challenges in our lives.

As writers, we’re lucky. I can put down in words my frustration. I can envision fanciful scenarios that get me laughing and able to rethink how to deal with my son. Heck, just the practice envisioning such scenarios means I’ve honed my creative muscles and just might think of a solution that will work—at least temporarily—with my son.

As writers, we’re also used to putting ourselves in our character’s skin. Which is useful for being able to imagine what might be motivating the person (in this case my son) giving us a hard time. Once we do that, we have a chance to begin to figure out solutions to difficult situations.

If all else fails, we sometimes get great material to some day work into a story!

Mind you, I still plan to hide the phone again tonight and I keep thinking about buying that bottle of whiskey.....