My oldest son swooshed down the slide, waved to his buddy, and headed for the parking lot. And so marked the last day of school. The end of nine straight months of writing opportunities, three days a week, two and a half hours at a time. All I can see ahead of me now are three months of constant interruptions (that is, whenever I can sneak away to the computer to be interrupted) and requests of, "Mommy, watch this. Mommy, watch me again. Mommy, look at me."
Back in September, when school first started up, the potential seemed unlimited for how much writing I could accomplish. Two and a half hours. Imagine the possibilities! Of course, driving and sign-in times shaved a good thirty minutes off the total. No worries, two hours was plenty of time to write. But, then, I had errands to run most days, taking away another clump of time. Still, that gave me an hour. But I had to feed the baby. And finishing the newspaper would only take a few minutes, so I might as well get that out of the way. And let's not forget my snack. The baby isn't the only one who needs to eat. Now I'm down to twenty minutes. No point in starting now. I'd only crank out one sentence before time would be up. Besides, I need to check email first. Oh, look at the clock. Time to head back to school for pickup.
I'm a bit ashamed at how I frittered away that precious time, all the while reassuring myself that school wasn't over yet. I could always do better next time. But it's too late now. And I don't even have the illusion that I'm going to have time to write this summer.
I could always write in the evenings after the kids are in bed, but those pesky networks have finally realized that not everyone plays outside until dark or goes on vacation for weeks at a time. They're now airing new shows during the summer, shows I want to watch.
I could always get up an hour early but my kids get up as soon as I do. If I sleep in, they sleep in. If I get up early, so do they. The sound of running water when I jump in the shower seems to be my oldest son's personal alarm clock. I could sneak downstairs in my pj's, but starting my day without cleaning up first kind of grosses me out. So, instead, I'll spend my summer whining about how I don't have time to write. Maybe I have my priorities out of whack. Maybe I should skip those silly reality TV shows and hone my craft instead. Maybe I should type away as the sun rises over the hill, morning breath be damned. But hey, I'll have to think about my priorities tomorrow. Last Comic Standing is about to start.