Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blast into the Future

So, because I'm the "coolest mimi (aunt) ever,"as my niece told me yesterday, I'm babysitting her and her sister for four days.  My sister and her husband are going on a long over due vacation together and I get to be "mom" to their one and three-year-old.  I've done this in the past but not with both of them or for as long.  I told her "no worries, I just wing it."  Just in case though she wrote me out several pages of detailed instructions that I am hanging on the refrigerator for quick reference.

Me and the girls get along pretty well and I think things will go more smoothly than anybody may originally think.  Of course I'll let you know how I really feel in four days.  But during this time I would like to "play the role of mom" as I might really play it with my own children.  Amid all the nap times, play times, and eating times, my sister didn't schedule in my writing time.  Being single without kids I already find it hard most the time to fit in my writing.  Add two kids and it might feel like I should just give up, right?  I  admit in the past when I have watched my nieces and tried writing a paper or just reading a book it didn't go so well.  When I finally got the free time I often used it to nap.  But I like to think I have matured since then.  So how do you write when you also have two kids to chase around?  I don't know, but my guess is to always have your laptop out and bang away at it every chance you get.  This will take some training to being able to insert myself back into my characters and story at a rapid speed.  If I can accomplish that I might have an all-star quality on my side as a writer.  However, if I cant...well that is what editing if for.

Ironically, I was reading a story in Alice Munro's Selected Stories on the flight here that commented on mothers.  The story was "Miles City, Montana" and the main character is going on a road trip with her two kids and husband.  She is reflecting on herself as a mother and the type of mother she is and wants to be.  She says,

"I had dread of turning into a certain kind of mother - the kind whose body sagged, who moved in a  woolly-smelling, milky-smelling fog, solemn with trivial burdens.  I believed that all the attention these mothers paid, their need to be burdened, was the cause of colic, bed-wetting, asthma.  I favored another approach - the mock desperation, the inflated irony of the professional mothers who wrote for magazines.  In those magazine pieces, the children were splendidly self-willed, hard-edged, perverse, indomitable.  So were the mothers, through their wit, indomitable" (p380).

My sister is a great mother.  She takes the time to develop her children's interest and teach them things before they may even need to know them.  Mainly, she devotes, a lot, of her time to her kids.  I see many great mothers do this and in my single, selfish state of mind I think - I don't want to watch cartoons all day or repeat the same trick 100 times in twenty minutes.  And because I think this I don't know how I'll be as a mother.  Instead of worrying too much, I think will I worry enough?  Or will I be one of those crazy artsy moms who scream out in desperation - Mommy needs to work now go play somewhere else.  I know I don't want to turn into a mother "whose body sagged, who moved in a woolly-smelling, milky smelling fog." I don't think any woman really wants that to happen.  Watching my nieces is a great trial run and lets me know that not all my worse fears will come true about myself.  Having my own kids is nowhere in the near future, but I want to know that when I do that I will still have time for my writing.  I know most mothers must deal with this in their own ways trying to  stay involved in their own interest as their children require more and more of their time.

So, here I am day one alone with the kids and writing over breakfast and morning cartoons.  We'd be done by now and playing outside but my three-year-old niece is trying to whine her way out of eating her banana.  And although this may be the only time I write today I know at least I took the time to devote some minutes of the day to the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment