Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Way We Live Now

We've been writing this blog for twelve years (the first post was June 8th, but I'm lousy at remembering any anniversaries other than our wedding, so I might as well that that in now.) I've never been a good diarist. There are a half dozen books or computer files in which I managed to keep up a journal for a few months. I think the reason I always failed at such endeavors is that I could never find it interesting for long to write about myself for an audience of just myself. Writing is a form of communication, and if it's not being shared with others, who are you communicating with?

I think that's why the blog has generally been a fruitful endeavor for me. There is some sense of writing to communicate with others, but none of the restrictions of writing for a specific market. It's allowed the topics to meander over the years to whatever interests us at the moment, and it's allowed the blog to survive times when we've very little time to write.

It does also provide a window on my own past, though. Twelve years ago when I wrote that first post we had only two children, and I'd only recently secured what I thought of as my first "real job" because it was salaried (rather than hourly) and actually paid enough for us to live on (a virtue with which my jobs back in California had only flirted.) I recall we thought of ourselves as very busy back in those days, and I did indeed work some very long hours as well as still doing some web programming work on the side for extra money. Yet to judge by the number of posts back in 2005 and 2006, we must have had more time than we thought, as we put up more posts back then than at any time since.

I've been feeling old (or more properly: middle-aged) lately, and it's a feeling that I mostly enjoy, though it seems to leave me writing less. Our oldest daughter is fifteen. She'll be starting to learn to drive come the new year. Girl number two is thirteen and the third is a tall and leggy eleven. (Sometimes I think she'll be the most conventionally beautiful of the older set -- other times I think that our current conventions of beauty are based on eleven-year-olds.)

We don't do sports in our family (dance, drama and cub scouts provide enough activities to dodge around between) but the girls agreed to a regime of running this summer, working up to a 5k or something longer. So this morning I roused them out of bed at a quarter to seven and we jogged a mile and three quarters. They were good sports about it, and a week into the regime are starting to build a little stamina, but the early mornings come hard to teens and near teens who don't normally have to get up and catch a school bus. We're a family of night owls, and one of the reasons why I chronically feel that I have no time is that with the long summer daylight it's often nine o'clock before we get the little ones in the from the yard and ten before they're in bed. Then it's eleven or later before the older ones settle down. If I'm to have some quiet time to write and such after the rest of the family are down, that time now starts about 11:30pm. Perhaps it's no wonder that this novel is progressing more slowly than the last one.

Last weekend we watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with the older kids. It's a fun movie, though not greater than the sum of its parts. One moment that's always really stuck with me is where Indiana Jones and his father are talking and the senior Jones says, "You left just as you were getting interesting." That's one of the things that makes this time so satisfying even if it is very time consuming. The older children are starting to relate not just as kids doing kid things which we need to keep an eye on, but as other people with their own interests and abilities. It's not all even sailing. They're still inexperienced people with strong moods that they don't always know how to keep under control. Still, dealing with one of them having a bad day is a lot more like trying to talk sense into someone at work having a bad day than it is dealing with a toddler having a bad day. And it's genuinely fascinating (if occasionally frustrating) to see these people emerge with their own interests and talents, not necessarily similar to our own. For all my regrets at not having time (or only getting time by cutting my sleeping hours down to six or less) it's a good stage of life.


Literacy-chic said...

"You left just as you were getting interesting." - one of my favorite lines too.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Mine too. It says volumes doesn't it?

Finicky Cat said...

Yes, I love best the babies and the teenagers. We have one year till the oldest goes across the country for college. It's just beginning to hit me how very much I will miss him. 'Scuse me now while I go find a kleenex...