It is amazing to me to get to hear the stories of writers who are parents from far-flung places. I am so grateful to our members who have volunteered to add their voices to this blog!
These last two weeks, thinking about how the daily routine of guest blogger and Pen Parentis member Geoff Kirsch up in Alaska must differ from mine, have humbled me and reminded me that yes, we are all from vastly different backgrounds -- but then I went to a nowhere-but-Manhattan event (I was guested in to a fundraiser for a local orchestra with a live performance by a Broadway star, held in the art-strewn historical Tribeca loft of a couple so well-to-do their kids were having a pillow fight with silk throw pillows and no one even noticed over the loud murmur of cocktail conversation) and I realized in talking to the thin outer skin of the upper crust that all of us: from these unbelievably rich people, down to my ironic and dry Facebook friend from high school whose last status update mentioned the fact that her local food kitchen had given her a sack of donated rice that was full of small bugs, and also served many in the community whose eyesight wasn't as good as hers--all of us who are writer/parents have two things in common: we love our kids and we don't have enough time in the day to do our writing. This is what binds us together despite other differences - we have to get over the guilt that in writing anything other than a shopping list or a note to a teacher, we are stealing time from our kids.
But here's the thing: I truly believe it's worth it. Creative expression is a valuable talent, and those of us who can actually string words together to form images that stay in people's minds have a mandate to use that talent. What we create changes the world. Just look at how passionately people talk about the ideas they got from books. Teaching our kids that art is valuable is probably part of why people like us were meant to have kids in the first place.
So go write. Just make the time. Make it.
Next up, we have another guest blogger: this time a fascinating writer from California who is taking her toddler to South America in order to write. She leaves on Wednesday.
I can't wait.