Naptime Chronicles: How to Start Writing Again


I’ve got nearly a year of parenting under my belt. The kid is ten months old. I thought I’d write about this life experience all of the time, but writing took a back seat. Part of it has been the anti-anxiety meds I got on after my mom died. I enjoy the silence more than I would like. The silence has been a gift. I don’t hear the crazy thoughts, but I also struggle to hear anything at all. The words don’t come to me as easily. They don’t string into sentences which string into paragraphs as effortlessly. I don’t have that constant narrator going off in my head. And like I said, I enjoy the silence more than I would like.

That’s the part that also sucks.

I’d also spent some time trying to get my work out there, trying to get an agent for a manuscript I have. I got a couple really encouraging bites, and then after several months of waiting, I got turned down by each of them. After a bad break-up and rejection, it’s hard to get back into dating again.

I may not be ready to start dating again, but perhaps I’m ready to fill out my online profile. I like walks on the beach and puppies and staring directly into sun until my cornea bleeds. I have, in fact, used that line in an actual dating profile. No one ever responded. I wonder why. I’m so good-looking.

Ah, I also lived through the most transformative and exhilarating year of my life in having a son. I’ve been a bit busy.

That part rules.

Not writing is a dull and constant ache. That I can still feel the ache is a good thing. So here I am. I’ve been contemplating just opening the flood gates and writing about the year all at once. Today is a good place to start. Now is a good time to start.

Why now? Because the kid is napping and I’m just gonna see how much I can pound out in whatever precious minutes of alone time the Gods decide to grant me.

I’ve learned a lot about life in the past year. I’ve always thought you could learn about the world by either traveling or reading. Since I hate leaving too far from my little hole in the earth, I’ve always been an avid reader to make up for it. Let’s add parenting to the third way of learning about the world.

Traveler, reader, parent. They have a lot in common. They enlighten us and tire us in the same ways. Getting home from a long trip, finishing the last page of a book, or FINALLY getting the baby down for a nap finally exhausts us and pleases us in just the same way.

Whenever life begins to feel small, it’s good to take a car ride somewhere on an open road. Or to the library to grab a good book. And I guess that’s why the wife and I had decided to have a kid. Our lives had begun to feel small in a way that an ocean trip couldn’t fix that one summer. It had rained every day on that trip, and outwardly we chalked our glumness up to that.

Six months later the wife found out she was pregnant. Two days after that, my mom died.

Death also has a way of opening up the world for you, except in a wholly cosmic, core-of-the-earth-splitting, gravity-fucking sort of way. Life will become so overwhelmingly large that you find yourself staring into the white hot center of it. Stare long enough and you’ll go blind. Stare even longer and you’ll see life is nothing of importance, never was, never is, forever and ever, amen.

And maybe that’s true.

Deep down inside, it is true.

You’ve got to come back down from all that though. You’ve got to ground yourself from all that. I did six months of grief therapy. Lady told me when I was feeling like that to go stand outside barefoot in the grass. The ground. I don’t what else to say except that the ground is a very important place to be.

I’m thinking maybe I’ll just stay. Besides, there’s nothing else better and the weather is nice most days than not.

I’ll stay here and I’ll raise my son, I’ll love my wife, and we’ll all take the dog on family walks. It’s easy get stoned on this blissfulness. And it’s hard to write while being so stoned on happiness and peace. There isn’t much exciting happening. Yesterday, the baby ate blueberries. The dog ate a foam ball. We don’t think either ingested very much however. Both spit the little pieces out everywhere, and it was an annoying mess to clean up.

But if I’m going to properly chronicle the year, I should start at the beginning, which was roughly four-o-clock in the morning, last July, when the wife sat up in bed and announced her water broke. Except I’ve got to end here for now. The Gods have deemed my time is up, nap-wise.

17 thoughts on “Naptime Chronicles: How to Start Writing Again

  1. I love your writing. I came for the descriptions of random purchases you make and food you ingest, but stayed for your beautiful writing. I’m not a parent, nor have I lost a parent, yet your writing still makes it so easy to understand what you’re going through during those experiences. I’m hoping you will self-publish your manuscript if you don’t get any bites, I would love to enjoy a longer form of your words.

  2. When my kids were babies, I didn’t write either. There were other (sometimes huge) gaps where creative efforts just didn’t get the time I wished I could give. And now in hindsight, I see it’s fine, really. I love writing and find when I set aside time in the morning, the ideas keep flowing on my drive to work. So I feel like, yeah, it’s still there. Like everything else a part of us, it never really leaves. And love the bit about standing in grass.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with your description of parenting as a way to learn about the world. Our kid just turned one and it’s hard to say who learned more in the last 12 months–him or us. I think he wins, what with the whole learning to breathe, learning to eat, learning to walk stuff. But still. It’s a trip.

  4. What a beautiful post. I lost my Dad about 6 years ago, and at the time it did change the way I viewed the world exponentially. Forever. Yet, life continues on, and watching your son grow each day has probably made the pain a little more bearable in your own life. Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.
    Kelly Reising

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