Cathy: Room of one’s own?
Lately we have had a few posts here addressing the issue of creative moms having a space to be creative. One where no one else gets into our stuff; one where no one else’s stuff piles into our stuff; a computer, or a desk or a room of one’s own where we can have some clear head space, a view, and the ability to be in a creative mood or mind without interference.
I reluctantly share my writing PC with my children for homework and personal projects. The eldest, K prefers burning CDs to his MP3 while checking his email while making surreptitious maneuvers around parental controls to view videos and play internet games his brother should definitely not be looking over the shoulder to see. However, in general, though he may break my rules, I’ve made him good and paranoid of internet predators, so he’s not up to anything that will get him into any trouble other than with me. He also happens to be working on a couple of novels, albeit a lot bloodier than mine and full of fantasy genre: lone wolf types fighting their way through a world of evil. The second born prodigy, er I mean progeny (right, ma) is obsessed with Windows Movie Maker and typing up titles and credits to his films. He sneaks watching videos on youtube, too, but he’s easier to catch.
I also share my office with my mother-in-law, retired, who really likes computer games. We sit here much of the day together, especially when the boys are in school. Sometimes I am distracted in conversation with her, because I’m trying to write, sometimes, the conversation is just what’s needed. There are many writing rituals I used to do that I’ve given up with her presence: the sing-song reading aloud, the general weird noises and seat dancing, music playing, etc. Just weird writer things, like saying LA-LA-LA-LA-LA while I’m not really sure if the part I’m trying to write makes any sense, but I’m writing it anyway, for now. There’s also the time I tried bouncing a writing dilemma off of her and she was looking at me very strangely. Did I mention she is a retired accountant? She disproves my old theory that all avid readers are writers at heart.
It’s a decent sized room, but there’s a lot of furniture crammed in here, including a full-sized guest bed. Oh and I didn’t mention what I usually mention: the fact that while I’m trying to write, I have squirming, nursing or sleeping baby on my lap.
Today, my husband asked to move in, too. We broke out the tape measure, and technically, we can make it work, but aren’t doing well on agreeing about how. He wants to share the desk. I am going to go wicked eighties for a sec here, but I’m like, totally no way! It’s bad enough with the kids and me. His paper problem is much worse than mine. And mine is admittedly bad. I suggested he bring in the hunk of kitchen counter that’s still in the garage from when we removed it from the kitchen 18 months ago. With some maneuvering of a giant file cabinet and my desk, it’ll be tight, but it’ll work.
It’s really the least I can do. Of course I’ll be more inconvenienced than I am already. I already feel boxed into a corner. But the guy has been a real trooper. He took care of me and my kids from marriage number one, when I was a pain in the butt bedrest preggo for a very long time. He also provides for an increasingly large household through not just a day job, but side jobs. Until we make room for him in here, he wanders the house for an open corner of kitchen counter with stool, the dining room table after dinner and dishes are done. Sometimes I can hear the hum and click of his laptop at two in the morning, when he has to get up and do it all over again in about four hours. The very least I can do is squeeze him in next to me in here. Hey, maybe we’ll even end up spending more time together.
So, room of one’s own? I doubt it’ll be possible until, ah, shucks, I don’t have the foggiest idea! My youngest won’t graduate high school til I’m 60. Even though I do not want to live through another pregnancy like hers, I can’t help having that ‘what if’ in the back of my mind. After all, my late father-in-law still doesn’t have a grandson to carry on the name.