On Being a Writer and Becoming a Dad
My son, Samuel, was born May 29, 2014. I was 54 years old and, until then, childless. I have a ten-year-old stepson who came into my life when he was six, and whom I love as my own. But having a baby, and now a toddler, is a whole new world.
My wife lost a baby two years before, so the first sound of Sam’s heartbeat during the ultrasound was thrilling. Then I got to see him born, and watch him take his first breath. His head was smaller than the palm of my hand!
He’s a year old now. He’s starting to make words like Mama, Dada, and Tiger. He can stand while holding on to something, and has stood without support for a few seconds at a time. I have no doubt he’ll be walking soon. But he’s still at the “everything goes in the mouth” stage. One day, he tried to eat the TV remote and shocked his mouth. Another day, he chewed the label off a water bottle and choked on it. He is fascinated with electrical cords, cell phones, computers, and anything electronic. This demands constant supervision. And he wants more attention now. He’s less satisfied playing by himself.
I love my son. But fifty-odd years of being childless has made me selfish and set in my ways. I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. When I’m inspired to write, I want to write.
Having a child has been a huge adjustment. I can no longer write while I watch him. Which means that sometimes when I am inspired, I can’t write down my thoughts. And often, when I have the time to write, I find myself with nothing to say.
Sometimes I wonder how people with children keep their jobs. But mine is a unique situation. I work at home, so I’m always available but never quite off duty.
I’m told that these things work out over time. I hope so, because my writing has continued to improve, and I look forward to finishing the projects I’m working on. But during this period of adjustment, I still wouldn’t give up my son for anything!