I’d intended to have a quiet time this morning to write. I get up early on Saturdays, with Sundays the only day of the week I can sleep in. Ordinarily, I’m alone for the first few hours of the day on Saturday… but not this morning. No, this morning I was waking up in the quiet and the dark of my bedroom, stretched, broke wind, and my husband cracked a joke.
“You realize,” He commented once we’d both stopped laughing, “this is the kind of thing you can’t write. It’s only funny in person.”
Yes, and no. It is funnier in person, in the dark with someone you love and trust. Someone you have a history of being silly with (see also: blue monkeys on my livestream yesterday!). But I do think you can take the essence of that joke, that level of ‘being married’ and capture it in written fiction. Where you can tease one another comfortably about the normal bodily functions, while knowing when to be supportive instead.
But that’s not what I’m going to write about this morning. I was planning to get up, write this post, and roll into the work in progress, which I got 4500 words done on yesterday. That was the plan. This is reality.
“There’s a twitch streamer who spent 565 hours…” My son is telling me right now. He went on, telling me “this dude spent over a fourth of his working time in a year trying to beat one level in a video game. I mean, it’s a very hard level, but…”
I’m writing. I got up, still chuckling from the morning’s start of ribaldry, and no sooner had I emerged from the bedroom than the dog wanted my attention. She did her little dance of ‘follow me’ but she didn’t want to go outside. I pushed open the bedroom door a little. No, she didn’t want him. Or… she didn’t want to go get him herself. She wanted me to bring him to her, so he could take her out. The First Reader, finished up dressing, came out commenting ‘a Daddy out is the best out.’ The dog was happy. I started coffee, and then followed the Boy into the dining room to talk about the furniture that needs moved for him to paint trim and then, finally! I got coffee in my mug and sat down to write this post.
With my son in the recliner at the side of my desk, and my husband at his desk on the other side of the room, and a three way conversation going on. Now, that’s hard to write effectively. It’s chaotic, for one thing. For another, you have to be part of the family to follow the in-jokes, the minor obsessions, the naming of cats, other people… besides which, it doesn’t advance the plot. As a writer, of the sorts of fiction I write at least, this would slow down the pacing incredibly by the time I got it all on paper. Even this rambling post is capturing a minute amount of the conversation and actions of the three people, a cat, and a dog, in my office this morning.
For life, though? This is totally part of the arc of the family story. You see, there was a storm last night. It woke me up around midnight, the heavy shed doors slamming in the wind. I could hear a board fall off and clatter onto the concrete. I texted the menfolk, because I knew both were awake at that hour (you begin to understand why they are usually not with me in the morning) and a moment later heard their voices and the house door. I slipped back into sleep. This morning, my excited Boy wanted to tell me about their adventures with the big doors, how the wind had torn them out of his hands, and the First Reader’s grasp, and the way the big metal rod that fastens them was bent and how they finally screwed boards to the doors to keep them closed and… all in a breathless state of golly gee wow!
It’s important to him to tell me, even while he’s deliberately making steps toward independence, what happened. And I am not about to curtail these last moments of childhood by chasing him off to let me write. So you all get a bit of a chaotic post, but… I think you’ll enjoy this glimpse into the silly reality of my family.
And now I have to go add chemistry to the discussion of cocoa, candy, and chocolate ratios. Because insoluble solids, and the sludge at the bottom of the cup.
(images: totally not my family, at all. MidJourney has a sense of humor, though)