Daddy's Coming Honey!


I’m grabbing some Education classes to put under my belt to make me a better teacher. In one class I’m in a group with some mothers. We were assigned to write about a topic other than the topic of teaching writing this week, so I decided to write about my fatherhood, but to make everything cross-referenced I shall compare emerging fatherhood to emerging writing.

That is, as a writer I consider each one of my works my brainchild. And soon, very soon, I shall have my CHILD child.

I am very deliberate, and very private, about my writing. When I set writing to something I often have in mind exactly what I want to do. Of course, the creation itself evolves over time, grows, like a living thing, like a…..what’s that thing called again? That thing I’ve been talking about for the past few mo—oh, a baby! As much time as I am spending sharing my thoughts on preparing to raise a child, I shall spend less blogging about actually raising the child. That you will hear from me in smaller bits, as well as extended personal conversations. We all must move on.

As it turns out a lot of advice about writing also applies to babies. Except for William Faulkner’s advice: “Kill your darlings”. That’s never a good idea. But otherwise, raising children and writing have much in common:

The ability to lose sleep
Someone to help you through the process
A babysitter
Whiskey (ha….ha……)
Listening Skills
The willingness to be poor
The ability to cope with failure

But as I said, with my writing, I don’t like to show people a work in progress. And that means talking about it. And yet here I am talking about our child as a work in progress. But, I realize, it is not the child himself I speak of, but our preparation for him. And humans are always in progress. But our progress in the world begins after our birth, hence why we celebrate birthdays, not inception days. Thus, I will go ahead and tell you now that when this child arrives, I shall no more blog about him. It’s easier to say “stop” when he’s born than to choose that time when it will be awkward for him to read about himself. That and as busy as I will be as a more active father, the writing time I do have will be dedicated to more vocationally productive writing.

So crafting a son’s character as a parent is like crafting a writing. I treat my writing as a thing I don’t always control, a thing that, if I love it, I will let take its own course. And if I don’t like it, I can yell at it later and make it feel guilty for disappointing me and continually ask it if its happy with the choices it has made in life. Or if I come to a point where I’m stuck I just leave it in the backseat for a while until I figure out what to do with it. Or it’s screaming at me for attention and I panic.

But for now we wait. We wait for this child to come to us, as I wait for moments of inspiration. The baby has already been his own source of inspiration. I’m sure the fountains will pour forth once that baby comes. If not, in exchange for writing I will have the consolation of a living being to look after.

No sweat.


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