I’ve been teasing my son all day that he looks like a banana in his yellow t-shirt and yellow shorts. Such combinations are his idea of matching. He is lying across from me on our old beat-up blue couch, spending quiet time with his nose deep in the Chronicles of Narnia. He wiggles a lot.
My house is quiet, except for his quiet wiggle-noises, the occasional movement from upstairs where his brother is decidedly not napping, the tap of my keyboard.
I am writing.
My living room is a mess of baby toys and discarded couch pillows, and the dog is flopped in her doggy bed without a care in the world. The coffee mug on the little table to my left is nearly empty, and my feet, propped up on the ottoman, are visible beyond my laptop screen and clearly in need of a pedicure.
My to-do list is long. The dryer just buzzed; it’s laundry day. The peaches in my fridge, nearly gone bad, need someone to peel and pit and slice them and put them in a crust for dessert tonight. I haven’t even written my shopping list for the trip to the store that awaits me after naptime.
But I am writing.
I have discovered that I never have a perfect time to write. Always I am distracted; always my list is long; always someone is wiggling or something is buzzing. So sometimes I just choose to write, here in my big blue armchair, in spite of everything.
I don’t write much by hand anymore. Sometimes, in a fit of inspiration at work or church or in bed at night I’ll drag out a notebook or a scrap of paper and a pen. But usually my writing is really typing. My hands hurt, with their swollen, stiff knuckles. Some days holding a pen requires great creativity. But I can’t stop writing, so my laptop keyboard becomes my pen.
I can’t stop writing, you see. I don’t know why, because I don’t envision a career in writing. I don’t see worldwide fame, or even local fame, in my future. I put my words out there, and a few people read them, and even fewer people comment, and sometimes I get discouraged by the lack of readers, but still I write. I have always written.
I found my diary from childhood not so long ago. I was my banana-clad son’s age when I started writing in it. The pencil scrawlings are brief, noting that I went to school that day, or dressed my doll in her blue dress. A few years later my diary was pink with a heart on it, and it includes musing about boys and friends and my sister. I had to write in it, just like I had to write fairy tales and short stories in my notebook.
I have to write now, too, and as much as I would love for you to comment and say you see me, I will keep writing even if you don’t. Writing is a part of me just like my elbows or my eardrums.
My husband has just given me a kiss, and the dryer waits downstairs to be emptied and filled again. The dog has shifted position; my coffee is cold; and my banana-boy has taken a bathroom break. Cars driving by outside the curtained windows sing a song of rain and puddles, and my other son plays percussion with his feet from his upstairs bedroom. The baby still sleeps, and I still need a pedicure.
I am writing.