Wiping drool from my chin I wake, never having reached a state of full REM sleep. With bleary eyes I trudge through the door of my bedroom, to the right and down the short hall and through the door in the the pinkest room you will ever enter in your life. My already exhausted brain aches from the air raid going off in this room. But as I turn to my right, click on the lamp with the pink lamp shade, and look down, all of the fog clears, the headache is gone, and I am smiling like I have never smiled before (except for maybe every night before since the last two nights in October, 2009).
This happens every night.
I am a proud new parent of twins. My daughter, Gwynevere Anne, is the air raid siren going off. Could be a diaper, a hungry belly, or the fact that she is as social a creature as her mother and woke to realize at 4am that no one was holding/playing with her. My son, Kade Auren, is thankfully much lower maintenance and sleeping through the cacophany in the other room, oblivious.
Since October 30, 2009 I have average approximately 3 hours of sleep a night. The holidays were the next worst thing to the torment the rich man suffered in Hades in Luke 16 (because we got off our schedule thanks to my inlaws).
What does this do to a writer (who by day is also a mild-mannered Physics teacher)?
Don't venture a guess. It could be fatal.
It is obvious that things like blogging take a hit judging the chronological distance between this post and my last (nearly 3 months?). The website I was designing for myself never made it past a single piece of notebook paper with a flowchart on it. I managed to enter exactly one writing contest at the last minute just last week, the first major writing-related event that wasn't actually me editing the book I'm trying to publish right now. I'm still waiting to find the time to finish the last session of a three session class I started in early October of last year.
It's tough. My wife and kids come first. But I did write. At night, when my wife was in the shower or brushing her teeth, I had thirty minutes to write (edit). At school, during my off period when all the papers were graded and I had no meetings, I had fifty minutes to write. At lunch, I have twenty five minutes to write. I've even filled my phone with notes taken 2 minutes here, 3 minutes there, (3 hours at the mall...zzz...zzz).
I thought that when my kids were born, then my days as a writer were put on hold indefinitely. When you are a writer, you find the time. Love is a wonderful thing. There is no limit to it. It is infinite and cannot be divided, only multiplied. Having twins gave me two new things in my life to love and they have not dimmed my love for those things I already loved: God, my wife and extended family, and my love of writing. If anything, they have multiplied my love for all of them.