Monday, November 17, 2008

have and need

November 17th, 2008

8:07 A.M.

Snow brightening the sunless morning. Coffee warming my gut. Got the push roaring down deep. Will try harnessing it today. Put it to good use. Chop away at manuscripts that need finishing, or work on something new. Harder to write these days. Impossible to maintain flow. Over the past year, I've had to change the way I go about writing. It isn't as easy as sitting down when the ideas need out. Now, there is a Little Man to watch over. Help out. Guide. There is a wife to please and take care of. There are pets running around the house. Chores that need to be done. Blah, blah, blah. All stuff that all writers have had to deal with since writers started writing. It's no different. It's just somedays I really feel it. The writing life I had compared to the writing life now. I had more time to write in the past, but I wasn't as prolific as I am now. I've written hundreds of pages this year. Most of them inspired by my experiences as Daddy and Hubby. In the past, I spent more time getting things right. Getting the writing out and polished as soon as possible. Now, it's a matter of trying to find time to polish. Nip, tuck. Do the editing. But I'm doing it. And there's no sense going on about how I'm not writing as much as I would like to be. There's nobody to blame for my lack of success, except for me.

And Little Man wakes. Yelling DADDY!

Back at it. Nearly an hour later. He had his PBJ for breakfast. Drank milk. Ate vitamins. Brushed teeth. And to my surprise, there hasn't been much fuss. There was a little at first, when he sat down at the table and his PBJ wasn't ready.

“Want peanut butter jelly!”

“I know, buddy. I'm working on it.”

First, I wanted him to take his vitamins. Then, I wanted him to try a few slices of orange.

“Want peanut butter jelly!!”

I handed him the vitamins and orange slices.

“No want!” and he turned away, whining.

“Listen!” I said, maybe a little too harshly for a Monday morning. “You are going to get your peanut butter and jelly. First, you need to eat your vitamins and eat some oranges.”

Some more whining.

“If you whine, if you act like you did yesterday, no peanut butter jelly.”

He stopped whining. Scrunched his face all up. Shoved a vitamin in his mouth. Picked up an orange.

I went back to making his PBJ.

It's hard raising a kid. I can hardly believe that people have three or four of these little creatures. That they manage all of them at one time. I applaud these parents. Respect them. Am in awe of them.

I poured some coffee. Sat down across from Little Man. Watched him devour that PBJ, as I flipped through the yellow pages.

“V, v, v,” I said.

Little Man looked at me.

“V?” he asked.

“Well, it's not under V.”

I thumbed back to U.

“Doing, Daddy?”

“Looking to tie it off, buddy.”

“Tie off?”

“Here we go,” I said. “Just what Daddy needs!”

Little Man took another bite of PBJ. I made a mental note of the nearest urologist. Took comfort in knowing that a vasectomy is only 2.3 miles away.

The rest of our morning has been fine. There wasn't much fuss when it came for diaper change. Out of pajamas and into big boy clothes. He insisted on watching PBS Kids. I did not fight it. He is in a good mood. Much better than the monster he was this weekend—two full days of whining, screaming, crying, pouting, and tantrums—so if he wants to watch some educational television, so be it. We'll be out in the cold soon enough. Bundled up and enjoying the great outdoors. Not sure what we'll do. Maybe take a walk. Maybe he'll want me to pull him in his sled. We haven't enough snow for it, but any snow is enough snow for a kid to get out a sled. No matter what we'll do, it will be fun. And I'll do my best to tire him out. Get his little heart pumping. Let him burn off some of that energy that can build and build and then erupt in a fit of emotional frenzy.

I just have to remember my good friend PATIENCE. Keep things in perspective. Not take things so seriously. Have fun. Because when it's all said and done, that's what we need to aim for. More good than bad.

Maybe later I'll get back to writing. Editing. Chasing this foolish writer's dream. One day, I might even get close to having the success I hope for. But for now, the imagined life of being a real writer, one churning out readable literature that people can relate to, that pays the bills, is somewhere off in the distance. Not yet to be mine. All I have and all I need is now at my side. Tugging at my arm. Done with tv. Wanting to play.

“Come on, Daddy! Come on!!”

And so it goes.

~ K.J.

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