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Your Kids Will Read Your Writing Someday (And Other New Fears I Have)

by Alison on December 11, 2013

HELLO THERE. Blossoming gumshoe that you are, I’m SURE you’ve put 2 and 2 together and figured out that our baby arrived. Finally. Almost two weeks late. (He’s grounded.) Anyway, as it turns out, birthing and keeping a newborn alive is, ahem, a smidge harder than strictly anticipated so I haven’t had much time for blogging.

However, things are beginning to calm down so I’m trying to turn over a new blogging leaf. But first, shall we do a little requisite photo sharing? Here’s Cormac. (Writing Nerd Side Note: though I’m a fan of Cormac McCarthy, our Cormac is not really named after the writer. However, I have been rather surprised how baffled people in public have been by the name Cormac–especially given that Cormac McCarthy has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.)

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Anyway, Cormac has presented all the usual challenges to writing. He eats a whopping 12 times a day so that right there is a pretty big hindrance. But truthfully I expected to be short on time. No big shock there. However, he’s also presented me with a challenge I didn’t expect: someday, he’s going to be able to read.

While I think it’s unlikely he’ll read my books as a child since they are very much focused on the female experience, I do wonder if as an adult he’ll get curious and crack one open. And just the thought of that makes me…blush and feel sort of clammy. The funny thing is, our books are G rated–maybe there’s the occasional PG moment, but that’s it. I have given copies to girls as young as 8 and not worried about it in the slightest.

But something about Cormac reading them makes me a little shy. I am very proud of our books. But I guess I want to be a superhero for him, the bestest writer that ever was, able to leap entire paragraphs in a single bound. Will he see that typo on page 35 that no one caught? Will he think that one character is a little two dimensional, truth be told? Will he not laugh at the funny bits?!

And this newfound shyness extends to ALL my writing. Yesterday, I finally found the courage to start the baby journal a thoughtful friend gave me. The first entry begins with an apology to Cormac, explaining how it’s not my very best writing and begging his understanding since I’m incredibly tired.

Logically, I know this is quite silly. He’s only seven weeks old. He doesn’t even notice the very loud Chihuahua running around our apartment and can’t hold his head up. Clearly he’s a long way from reading. Plus, we kids are always proud of our parents, right?

But with the tables turned, now that I’m sitting on the “parent” side of things, it feels different. It’s a lot of pressure to be the larger-than-life super mommy I want to be for him. I suppose in time I’ll get over this strange feeling. These books won’t write themselves, and I won’t allow silly pride to hold me back, but for now I’m adjusting to this new worldview, seeing myself reflected in his eyes.

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy N. December 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

First of all: He is Wonderful!!! I just want to squeeze him! (gently, of course.) Congratulations and welcome to the amazing journey.

Second: I totally get this fear. I recently saw a picture on social media of one of our granddaughters reading my novel. I gulped. Then I cried just a bit. Then I tore into the plot for my next book to make sure it will make her proud. (Or at least not embarrassed.)

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Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams December 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

He is SO adorable. And I’m not a parent yet, but I can totally see how this fear would develop. I think you’re right, though: he will be proud of you. Just as you will be of him.

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Jennie December 12, 2013 at 4:51 am

“But I guess I want to be a superhero for him,” is exactly it, is exactly all of it. It’s actually one of the main reasons I keep writing because I want that so badly for Kyle, yet I’m so hard on myself at every stage of parenting that it’s only when reading my words in hindsight that I can (and I hope he can) go easy on me. We were doing our very best, back then, and we were doing it beautifully. We won’t remember it that way in our minds, we’ll be harsher than we should with our past selves and maybe even our past parents, but we’ll someday read those words and think, “We were something back then. We were trying so damn hard and we were doing great.”

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Serenity Bohon January 6, 2014 at 3:11 am

That baby is perfectly beautiful. And I love his name. This is such an interesting perspective – to have measurable accomplishments in the world before the babies come along, and then to worry what the babies will think of the accomplishments. Oh, babies. They change absolutely everything. Almost without exception, they change it in a good way. You have absolutely nothing to fear, though. Cormac will think you’re the bomb.

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Becky Ramsey March 21, 2014 at 2:12 am

What a beautiful baby! Oh my heavens! I go away for a few years, immersed completely in a new job, and then think of you and find you here and you’re a mom!
I’m so very happy for you. Sending you and sweet baby a big hug!
Becky Ramsey

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