Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grounded

            Work has gotten busy, and my personal time is packed, so it’s actually quite hard for me to focus on writing right now. Although I have to admit that it’s easier to write this kind of thing than to write a novel. I was writing a science-fiction novel before I had the baby, and I found that after Celia was born I just couldn’t get myself to focus enough to keep writing it. Writing something like that requires a lot of attention, and I was finding my mind wandering to the baby, and feeling utterly too tired to come up with exciting new content in my short moments in-between life’s hectic pace.
            That’s where this idea came in. It’s a pleasure to write about fatherhood, and it’s also a lot easier for me, because it’s happening right here and now. However, a couple of days ago I had a great idea for a novel; something I’m really excited about. It involves a ninth century monk accidentally uncovering a conspiracy of grand proportions. I think it has a lot of potential.
            The problem is, in order to even begin I need to do some history reading, and geographical reading, maybe even a visit to Italy, where I think it would probably take place. That’s a lot of work, and although I’m starting to feel more rested these days, I can’t imagine how long it would take for me to pursue that.
            This really is the sacrifice of having a child. Not that I’m complaining, or that I don’t think it’s worth it, but it has forced me to temporarily lower my ambitions to a certain degree. It’s probably a good thing, when I think about it. My baby is crawling around on the ground, maybe that’s where I need to be too – grounded with her.
            We have this great new game where I grab a stuffed animal with my mouth, growl, and shake my head. She comes over and takes it out of my mouth, which I release with some sort of exclamation like, “Ba-Gaw!” She giggles, then usually holds it out for me to take from her again. I crawl over and grab it again with my mouth with a snarl, and she laughs and watches me shake it around before taking it out of my mouth again, to everyone’s great delight.
            But sometimes I can shift the game to where I’m not nibbling the toy, but her, and she loves that too. She’ll crawl away from me, then turn around and look with anticipation. When we make eye contact, I roar, “Raaah!” and crawl after her, nibbling on her toes. She laughs hysterically and crawls away again, turning to look at me after a few feet. At which point, I roar and we repeat the process either until we hit a corner or she gets tired of it.
            It’s simple, and wonderful. And in those moments I’m definitely not thinking about the next book I want to write. I’m on the ground, and I’m roaring and laughing and delighting in my daughter.
            Practical? Yes.
            Profound? Somewhat.
            Preposterous? Definitely
            Yes, I am surely grounded these days.

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