Saturday, September 1, 2007

What of the Children?

I'm going to be a bit vulnerable here. I can't tell you the amount of times I've felt guilty for sitting at the computer and writing. My children, it seemed, knew the back of my head better than they knew my face.

Project after project demanded my time. For you see, years ago I was the Stake Cultural Arts Director. This meant that my days overflowed with time spent writing productions for stake and regional settings.

Don't get me wrong. It was flattering to see my imaginings on stage, playing before hundreds of audience members. In fact, it was more than exciting to see one of my productions in regional committee discussions to become the "Hill Cumorah pageant-of-the-south."

But when your church calling demands so much time...what of the children? What of my children?

This question, "What of the children?", has haunted me at times. For nothing can compare with the quiet moments of looking into the exquisite eyes of my daughter. Her eyes speak of eternity to me, if I look in them long enough.

Nothing can compare with hearing my youngest son's peals of laughter when we get into a tickle fest. His chuckles move me like nothing else can.

Nothing compares with the deep discussions my eldest son and I are wont to engage in. His insights inspire me and aid me on my darkest days.

Thus years later, I've changed my pace. It's been a hard thing to do -- for in truth, I love nothing better than sitting at the computer creating stories and events, articles and book chapters. Those activities, along with my music compositions, have been rewarding.

But -- in truth -- nothing can compare with irreplaceable moments with my children. Therefore, I determined I would shift my priorities. Surely the Lord could help me work more efficiently and complete my projects more swiftly.

As a result, I soon learned the potency of delegation. I also witnessed that reducing perfectionism speeded completion. "Over-the-top" efforts were not required -- not when my children were present and deserved my love (which they seem to spell "a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n").

In truth, I may not have three books a year to show for my writing efforts, but at least my children are much more familiar with "Mommy's face!"


Janet Jensen said...

Cindy, you are amazingly productive as a mom and a writer! I'm sure the kids are proud of you, and know how much Mom loves them.

Lori Nawyn said...

Cindy, I second what Janet said. I am awed by all you do with your gifts and talents and inspired by your devotion to your family. You're the best!

C.S. Bezas said...

Well, coming from such amazing women as the two of you, that is very kind.

Marta O. Smith said...

I have wondered the same thing. I especially feel a little guilty about leaving my family to attend a writer's conference. However, my teenage son has watched me putting time and effort into writing, and now he is writing a book of his own. Would he have tried writing without my example? I don't know. But he is a very talented writer (even discounting my motherly prejudice) and I am encouraging him all the way.

Ajoy said...

With 5 children...a church calling...the many school activites/sports for my children...blah, blah, blah...

Since I'm a newborn writer- I personally find that reading your insight will help my choices for the better. Writing seems, to me anyway, a magical release into an amazing world. Why would I want to escape the wonderful world of being a mommy? That is where I feel the guilt.

I remind myself- or rationalize-that we all need to be our own individual selves by cultivating ones imagination, {i.e.: SANITY}. Whether that has to do with writing, going out on the town, art etc...

The juggling of all my responsibilities only advocates my desire to write more! {ESCAPE}

I suppose there is a happy medium? I know that I can be selfish with my time. I guess I need to spread it more evenly with those around me who seem not to be able to live without ME!

Josi said...

Very true, and very hard. When I fantasize about a perfect day it includes three things--an empty house, my laptop, and a pizza. No children anywhere (that's part of the empty house thing) but, part of that fantasy is because I'm blessed to spend so much time with my kids--even if I do it in between chapters.