You get into bed with an idea in mind. You grab a notebook, a pen, and you start to write. At first the words stick. You stumble, hesitate, but then, like a faucet that’s finally been wrenched open, they start to flow. It feels good when they flow. Really good. You can tell that the words are working well together, that the writing stands up.
And then, from the crib, a whimper, a cry. You ignore it and write faster. Maybe she’ll quiet down on her own. Maybe someone else will tend to her. Fat chance. The handwriting becomes blurry, nearly illegible, your shaking hand smears the ink, but it doesn’t matter you just have to get the words out before they vanish.
The cries intensify, start to reach a feverish pitch, and all of a sudden, like a river in a drought, the words dry up. The writer/mom switch has been flipped and you can’t believe that you even let her cry at all. And for what? A few sentences?