the circular runner

10 rules for being a better writer and parent…

In humor, life, observations, writing on July 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

1. Don’t feel guilty when you’re holding your baby in the wee hours of the morning and you’re thinking, Jesus, kid, could you stop making faces and go to sleep ’cause I need to write my blog post about parenting and writing.

2.-9. Repeat Rule #1 often except for the last part about having to write the blog post about parenting and writing  because you’ve already written that.

10. Take your head out of your selfish butt hole and look at the wondrous bundle of weird grimaces and toothless smiles you’re holding.  He/she is amazing–probably more amazing than anything you’ve written or will write.

OK, I’m going to admit that I wrote the title of this post with a little nod to the branding books from last month–seems that 10 Rules for X,Y or Z sells in the blogger/Twitter Universe.  But my nod is only a small nod–kind of like when two dudes pass each other on the street and only barely acknowledge each other.  I wrote this because I was up with my two month old boy this morning, and I kept thinking that he needed to sleep.  I wasn’t thinking this out of parental concern that my boy is an insomniac; rather, I was thinking that if I’m going to be up at some crazy hour, I should be writing since I enjoy writing at ungodly hours though I hardly get to anymore because I’m too tired due to the child not really napping anymore during the day.  He’s not cranky, mind you.  It’s like he’s curious.  He just takes it all in all the time.  He’s like my mom, who swears she can function well with 3 hours of sleep a day.

So I admit that this morning while holding the boy, all I could think about was wanting to write.  I also admit that I don’t really feel much guilt about it.  I AM a writer, and maybe writers are selfish twats.  It’s possible.  But then again, I think it’s not that simple.  I have a friend who I’ve avoided of late because she’s one of those people who reads every child development book that comes out and who waxes California-yoga-mommy about her child’s expressive ways (read, her baby cries).  That alone wouldn’t stop me from calling her.  What is stopping me is that at some point in our talk, she will start asking me about how I’ve changed now that I’m a dad, about which of my moments so far is the most miraculous.

Look, I know I’m experiencing amazing events.  But there’s something about talking about that amazingness that cheapens the feeling for me.  It’s like those religious people who are always sing-songing their love of God and then wanting you to witness in tandem.  I’m a believer and that kind of thing just makes me want to start scribbling I Heart Satan all over the nearest wall.  Likewise, with my boy, I do not feel the desire to talk about how he’s completed the circle of my being or whatever other trite new-agey thing my friend says on the regular.

What will I say when I speak to her next?  I will let her know about this blog, for one.  But I will add the following: I will tell her that this morning, in addition to selfishly wishing that the boy would sleep so I could write, I thought about his little bear-paws that kept twitching around.  Big hands run in the family on both sides, though I think he’s got my variety of big hands–long fingers, large, narrow palms.  I wondered what he would do with those hands.  I also wondered what he’d look like in 20 years–he will look like my wife, but how exactly?  And as I held him and he smiled and grimaced and dreamed God knows what, I, quite selfishly and darkly, thought about a time in the future when the table might be turned.  When he might have to help me eat or go to the bathroom, and while doing so, would he think about the things he had to do.

Jesus, that would be pretty damn selfish of him, would it not?

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  1. I really enjoyed how you wrapped it all up. (The post, not the baby.)

  2. brilliant. but it is always brilliant here.

  3. I hope you can always keep yourself and see him, too. Just hearing about your new baby– in bits and pieces, little glimpses–makes me crazy happy. Psycho happy. You don’t have to say anything more than “2 months old” and I am melting. (Sorry- I know I ought to be a harsher, more remote and stiff-lipped reader, but oh well.) And hello, did you just call yourself a (selfish) TWAT? Teeeeeeee HEE! I got a good giggle there. (As usual, your post made me think and feel. Completely NOT a waste of time. Thanks for that.)

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