Apples, Oranges ¬— I Just Want to Write!
“MOM!” Both of my kids scream it together. I turn to them, reminding myself to be patient. They are only four and five, even if they are only standing a foot away. “What?”
“I’m hungry.” says Eliza. “Me too.” agrees Peter.
“It’s not snack time yet.”
I turn back to the computer screen and set my fingers on the keys, ready to write. I wish I had more time in the day to write. In a few minutes’ time, I would have to finish cleaning the kitchen, make snacks, start laundry, and head to the park. If we didn’t go to the park once a day, the kids would turn our home upside down.
“What is it, babe?” I don’t bother to look away from the sentence I am typing.
Oh, good heavens. I want to pull my hair out when she uses the whiney voice. I give her a stern look. “How old are you, Eliza?”
“She’s five and I want an apple, mama,” says Peter.
“In a minute,” I sigh.
I type. Eliza climbs onto my lap and wiggles as much as she possibly can. Peter tilts my spinning chair from side to side and sings his ABC’s.
“I know!” I say with false enthusiasm. “How about you two go set up the finger paints and I will be in there in just a minute.”
“I want an orange Noooowww.” whines Eliza.
“Apples, oranges, whatever — guys, I just need to finish this paper.” My tone was harsh.
My fingers froze in the air above the keyboard. I was being selfish. They were bored and they were hunnngryyy. It’s not like I was doing anything important. My work is for me; I have never earned one penny from my writing. I have a file cabinet full of half-finished chapter books and a dresser full of poetry that I could never convince myself to get rid of. I was and still am following a dream that may never pay off.
I remind myself that my job, my number one work is to care for them. They have to come first, even when “Romeo” is about to throw “Danielle” off of a cliff in my imaginary world. I save my work, push the flow of adult creativity aside and turn on the mom button.
I will never give up. I will always just want to write. But it can wait until bedtime for the babies. I have to work. I have to give them their jumpstart. Who knows what they will aspire to be?. Right now they just want to see mommy peeling oranges and slicing apples and pretending to be the waitress with a funny accent.