Thursday, January 10, 2008

You’re Got to Start Somewhere

Bless me fellow bloggers, for I have sinned and neglected my blog to spend more time with my family and finish portrait commissions that had to be completed before Christmas. Somehow, blogging came in a fourth behind family, paying work, and keeping food on the table and the dog hair at bay. There didn’t seem to be the time.

There was certainly plenty to write about. My desk is littered with post-its and news clippings awaiting my pithy response. There is the yellow one with “Victoria’s Secret” sprawled on it, and a little white square with numbers pressed on. There is the one that reads “lead in lipstick” and the Metro section of the Oregonian with a photo of the Christian protester who harassed us during our wait in line for a marriage license four years ago, arrested and sentenced for sex with an underage girl.

I could have gone on forever about the stalling of domestic partnerships by a judge on December 28th, just as we were on the verge of getting state benefits equal to those of straight couples, because an out-of-state conservative action group wants to reinstate signatures on a referendum effort, putting our relationship on the 2008 ballot, bringing post-traumatic shock to all of us who suffered through the election four years ago and barely survived. But I think I was playing Legos with our son and drinking an eggnog latte.

There is always something, and where do you make the cut? Our kids don’t understand, nor should they, that every moment is a compromise since there is never a moment that something doesn’t need to be done. Do I play Wii with the teenagers, fold the laundry, pay the bills, return the library books, bathe or write an article? Do I put away the dishes, make orthodontic appointments for the older two, take the youngest to the park, or work two hours on a portrait that will take forty?

My wife took a very rare two weeks off from work. She didn’t look at e-mail or open her work life for two weeks, and she was better for it. I put aside what I could and took the days off from “work”, only doing those things that had to be done so we didn’t drown in dirt or find ourselves without milk in the house. I was better for it too.

But the kids are back in school now, at least the two who leave home for school (the 7th grader homeschools these days), so that gives me a couple of times a week when the coast is clear and I can work without guilt, remorse, or someone standing on my leg asking for ice cream. I’ve written two articles in three days, started the drawing for a portrait, written two blog entries that I’ll post today, send announcements about my book to twenty bookstores and kicked my teen in the butt (metaphorically) to get back to volunteering at the zoo.

I love school.

So I hope to be writing about lead in lipstick, inspector labels in lingerie, and adulterous anti-abortion/gay rights protesters in the near future. Don’t give up on me, there’s life in the old girl yet. Until spring break.

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