A year ago I started writing a novel.
It was on the top of my List of Things I Want to Achieve in Life at Some Point Before I Die (And Before the Baby Arrives). This goal was not to become a famous author or to get published (although, I wouldn’t mind either, ehm…ehm). It was to overcome my fears of inadequacy and to stick to my guns.
Sometimes the writing was all tears, sweat and toil and sometimes the words were pouring out of my soul straight onto the pages. Even when I only scrawled a sentence or two I was excited to see my first great novel grow alongside Peanut inside me. Often I was typing to the rhythm of him punching my ribs and he still is fascinated by the sound of me hammering the keyboard.
Pregnancy was a very happy time and a very scary time. There were days when I was mourning my soon to be lost complete freedom to do whatever I want and whenever I want. I convinced myself that I was no good mother material, mainly because I had always been dodging other people’s sprogs. At the same time I could not wait to meet this little person who loved to jiggle and wiggle (but why always at five in the morning?).
The days went by, I grew bigger and more ball-shaped and more pages filled with my “nonsense”. I can’t sew. I can’t knit. I can browse the Internet for deals on baby paraphernalia (psst, and I’m good at it). So I did that for months. I liked getting lost while following the myriad of old railway paths around the old harbour in Newhaven and whispering to Peanut about Sartre and superiority of Ben &Jerry’s ice cream over any other ice cream in the world.
Then one Saturday, BlueBeretDad raced the car through the sleepy streets of Edinburgh and around 4am we entered the birth centre as two only to twelve hours later leave it as three.
The plot’s twists and turns intertwined with my own upheavals. Everything was new, a big question mark hanging over our heads, more often than not with no answer to follow. After having read countless baby books, BlueBeretDad and I went for the “make it up as you go along” parenting approach. It has been working for us just fine. Phew.
Maybe it was the sleep deprivation and exhaustion or maybe a natural turn of events, but I dropped my writing. Just like that. The more Peanut grew and surprised us with new skills (Look, he can touch his foot) the less I had and wanted to say. I felt as if all the words I had in me had been consumed by motherhood.
Somehow, with Peanut becoming more independent (as in causing mischief when no one is looking) and me becoming a more relaxed parent, the door to my inner writer’s room unsealed. I started by undusting my notebook and writing an odd word here and there. Then I kicked off with scribbling down a few poems (bad ones I ‘m afraid) and odd paragraphs of peculiar thoughts whenever I found a minute or two. I stopped watching TV (still make an excuse for some car crash telly when my brain cells crave mindless entertainment) and went back to basics. Writing. Not judging. Letting stories happen. And this is how, ten months after Peanut joined the BlueBeretFamily, this blog was born. I would not be here typing this tale down for you without my wee boy. I would not have it any other way.
My novel is still waiting for that last chapter.
My fingertips are still itchy.
Happy First (soon to come) Birthday Peanut.
We love you very much.