I lay curled up with my little girl on the hospital cot with the black vinyl covered cushion draped with a sheet. I was trying to sleep, though every now and then the machine monitoring her vital signs would squawk. She was breathing deeply after a fretful struggle with the sleep fairy so I wasn't concerned. I just kept tempting the sleep fairy to conk me on the head and temporarily put me out of my misery.
There's nothing like a trip to the emergency room with your child to shine a spotlight on the tug-of-war that goes on within writers with children. All mothers wrestle with guilt monster, but those of us who write can be tortured by bigger and scarier ones than everyone else. Mothers who earn paychecks have bosses who expect them to show up at certain times and they have something to show for the time they spend away from their children. Mothers who write usually obsess about ways to steal time away from their precious little ones to indulge in their craft and don't always feel they have anything worthwhile to show for their efforts at the end of the day. And those are probably the ones who have been published. Never having published anything on paper in my life, I wouldn't know.
All I did know was that I was going to be spending half the night dozing on an emergency room cot waiting for the all clear signal to go home. The following sleep-deprived day would like be spent changing diapers and keeping my little one out of danger, with the high point being a possible trip to the pediatrician. Yet again. The great scare being over, I was once again plotting to carve out time to write.
Now that I hear my little one stirring, I'd better get straight to the point. When all is said and done and ruminated over, the only thing that matters is the I have two healthy, growing girls, a resilient and understanding husband, and one or two hours snatched in odd moments to write. That plus, never, never, ever leave your medications within reach of curious toddlers.
Copyright © 2005 by Allyson Denise Walker-Lawrence. All rights reserved. No part of this piece may be reproduced in any form, written or electronic, without the permission of the author.