The company we keep

My eight-year-old rose very early this morning got dressed and through his entire morning routine to join me downstairs during my writing time. First thing he did was turn on all the lights (sometimes I write in the dark), and started talking non-stop about everything—why he likes his new Star Wars book, all the new dance moves he’s been doing, why when milk spoils, its property changes, and how he wants to eat a big bowl of cereal so he can save the last English muffin for someone else (how thoughtful).

Though my son was technically interrupting my writing time with his colorful spurts of chatter, I kind of liked that he wanted to “hang out” with me this morning, so I put my computer away to sit and focus on him. Later, after tons of topics and that big bowl of cereal, I asked him why he was up so early and he replied, “I’m excited to go to school.” (Ok, I’ll take that). Even later after he settled into a book, I got back to writing.

My writing space and time are sacred, but this morning, it was easy to choose a bit of time with my son over writing. Sometimes it’s more meaningful to spend that space, that time with kids when they need it. Besides, those words in my head aren’t going anywhere (I hope). What do you do when life interrupts your writing? What/who do you sometimes choose over writing?

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Categories: Parenting, Play

4 Comments on “The company we keep”

  1. Gwen
    March 7, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    One of the reasons I rise at 4AM is so I can squeeze in some writing time before the kids wake up. We only get one shot to raise our kids, so we have to make the most of the time we have with them. I reduced my work hours to part-time two years ago, because I wanted to be a better mother. It was hard giving up my teaching tenure, but I have no regrets. I’ll never get back the extra time I now have with my girls.

    I’m glad you had such a special morning with your oldest boy. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • March 7, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks Gwen. Yes, I struggle each day with making sure I’m present in my sons’ lives. I’ve grown to know there is no such thing as balance. No matter how much we tell ourselves there is, there just isn’t. We have choices and those choices have good and not so good consequences. My philosophy as a parent is to try to make as many choices as I can that inspire good consequences, knowing that I will make mistakes as a parent no matter what. So I breathe, and like this morning take advantage of each and every moment. It all counts.

      I think that’s great that you can work part time. I know it was a tough choice but I also sense that you know in your heart those girls are worth it. You are right when you say we only get one shot at this. Every choice is a sacred one.

  2. March 7, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Been there! My thirteen year old son sometimes sits down on the couch and leans over my shoulder when I write. It gets distracting, but I soon usually realize he just wants mama time. I usually do like you and close my laptop, then I focus on him. At his age I’m just glad he still wants mama time. Enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast. My son will be fourteen on March 31st and now he’s taller than me. It’s amazing how fast he’s grown up. Have a wonderful day :)

    • March 7, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Ah yes, they may not come right out and say it but that lingering around over your shoulder is a sure giveaway that they want your attention. You’re right, there are so few moments when they want that special one on one time, it’s hard to resist, even for writing. And you’re right, it does go so fast. I remember when my (also tall) eight year old was just a baby. Well, happy birthday to your son this month and you have a great day too Stephanie.

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