I had a blog planned thanking Liana for nominating my blog for a "Kreativ Blogger" award. There are rules and such about what one is supposed to do when one is nominated. That's going to have to wait because my son laid a major guilt trip on me today, and I need to vent.
Today was an early release day in our district. The kids go home early, and the teachers have meetings. So I'm waiting for the meeting to start when my friend and colleague, Amanda, proceeds to tell me about my son's comments in her class. As part of a discussion of the summer reading, Fahrenheit 451, they were talking about ways that technology can alienate people from one another. My son tells the class that sometimes he feels like I ignore him when I'm on the computer writing and blogging.
I came home and asked him about it. Do you really feel like I ignore you? I gritted my teeth and didn't remind him that I chauffeur him to and from football practice every day. I usually watch the last half hour of practice. I've NEVER missed a game. I discuss the school day and practice when I'm cooking dinner...he sits at the counter almost every evening while I'm cooking. I still sit in the kitchen and keep him on track during homework time. He used to be so easily distracted, he needed me there to stay focused. He's much more self-directed now, but it's a habit we still keep. Every time he's ever said, "Mom, I need to talk to you." I drop whatever I'm doing and listen.
He grinned a little and said, "Sometimes." Sigh. I just bragged several blogs ago about how my family supports my writing. Honestly, they do.
Sometimes, I do make my sons wait a few minutes, sometimes even an hour, when I'm on a roll, and I don't want to lose momentum. They are 14 and 17...within a couple of months, they'll be 15 and 18. If they're hungry, they are capable of fixing themselves a snack until dinner time. If they can't find their cleats or ipod or socks, they can look for themselves until I reach a stopping point. I truly believe this perceived neglect has more to do with not having these kinds of needs met in the same moment they arise.
I've read similar stories on other writers' blogs. Finding time to write when you have a day job is difficult, even more difficult when you have a family. It's not impossible, though. I've already let go of the knee-jerk guilt. I'm doing the best I can to balance it all, and I'm a much happier person when I write.
Next time my son is hanging in his room listening to music or studying his playbook, I'm going to go looking for some mother/son time. I don't want the poor child to feel ignored.