As evidenced by previous posts, this blog has no particular theme. It will reflect whatever is top of mind when I sit down to write. These days I spend a lot of time thinking about my work-in-progress, a Young Adult novel for, well, young adults. (I look forward to telling you more about that in subsequent posts.) I also spend a lot of time thinking about my daughter and that’s where I feel the need to issue a blanket apology, in advance.
I, like you, have limited patience for people who talk about their children ad nauseam. It’s okay, you can admit it, we’re alone. When your friends start talking about their children you fix your smile and prepare to be a good sport. If the story is about a younger child and is told in a voice meant to approximate that of the child, you might even leave your smile in place like the Cheshire cat and go off to your happy place in your head.
These are the defense mechanisms we employ when parents are speaking admiringly of their offspring. The reactions are different if the parents are angry at their children. Those stories are entertaining. They cause our antenna to go up as we lean forward in our chairs. Our heartbeat accelerates as we anticipate a story that will validate that we are not alone.
Parenting can be a very lonely job, not unlike writing a novel. Even if there is another adult in the family there are hours in the day when you are on your own, or worse, just feel like you are. Parenting happens in real time, you don’t get to go back and edit it once you’re done. So what do we do instead? We talk about it. Sometimes the stories are uplifting and sometimes they’re a downer, but there’s a constant stream of them because parenting is 24/7.
So, I hereby issue a blanket apology for all the posts about my daughter that will inevitably worm their way into this blog. You are not obligated to read them, of course, but she is an endlessly entertaining subject. She’s very smart and as an only child she relates well to adults. Her teachers are always struck by how nuanced her sense of humor is and how well she communicates. Why just the other day, oops, sorry. This post was the apology, I’ll save the stories for later.