Parenting and Writing: it helps to be Elasti-Girl

It started with too much big crowd activity for my introverted personality. Sunday was the start of the week without my more social other-half, and it was kids to church, then a big picnic later in the day (in which I brought two additional kids). It was lonesome me with four children so losing one or two for only short periods of time, I considered it a win.

Elasti_GirlAll the Excuses

It’s been a traditional of mine to sign up for all of the Halloween festivities for the kids, and this year was no different. I geared up for my week of volunteering by going on a grocery store run, getting routine medical appointments out of the way, and returning overdue books to the library.

 

To write would take some flexibility, I knew this, but I had a plan.

And then Tuesday, the day of horror came. On the schedule was the 30-minute drive to my kids school, then they’d go in, and I’d write for an hour or so in my car, until it was time to load the kids up for their pumpkin patch field trip. But I was talked into putting a shelving system together for a fundraiser (mom guilt made me do it). And into carpooling. I drive 120 miles a day; fill up twice a week, so I jumped on the chance to save some gas. This was my first mistake or maybe my second.

My kids were split up in two different cars. By the time we arrived to the tent at Boone Hall Farms, I was drenched. My lightweight raincoat was not suitable for a downpour. The mom who drove my son was in the same situation with her tennis shoes soaked, plus she forgot to pack lunches. She lived across the street and offered to run home and get me a rain jacket. I took the coat. This was my second, or third mistake, if you’re counting.

I put my keys in the pocket of my water shield.

And it was raining really hard the whole day, and I had two pumpkins, lunch bags, and water bottles in my hands, when I had to switch car seats from different cars, because thoughtful me suggested the mom who drove my son, go home instead of returning to the school. Remember, she lived across the street! How many mistakes is that?

Over stimulated and under thinking, I took off the rain jacket and handed it to her. It wasn’t until we got back to the school, which was 40 miles from the pumpkin patch, that I realized we were stuck.

The hour I could have spent writing, was monopolized by the phone, troubleshooting how to get my keys back without bringing out the worst side in the kind mom who lent me her rain coat. It all worked out, but there was no writing. I was happy to get dinner on the table – mozzarella sticks and hot cocoa. Mom win!

It would be Wednesday before I managed to click-clack on my keyboard, and they weren’t great words, and nowhere near the Stephen King ideal of 2,000/day.

Thursday was spent preparing for Trunk or Treat. Three hours of smiling and passing out candy and wishing I were my costume – Elasti-Girl – cause this is what it takes to get words on the page everyday when you’re a parent – flexibility and superhero powers.Incredibles

Today is Friday. I’m back to writing and when I get words in, it’s always a better day. Truth: I’m exhausted from all of the crowd activity and would do anything to drink a cup of Starbucks as large as the trick-or-treaters yesterday!

So that’s how well I balance this gig. How about you? What’s your act look like on a good day and a bad day? Btw, this is my blog from a good day. Where did that girl go, Ha!

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