There’s nothing quite as satisfying as sitting at my desk writing during a wailing pounding rain storm with a purring cat in my lap. I’m almost not even worrying about the enthusiastic leak in the living room window caused by over 10 hours of rain pummeling all the south facing windows in the house.
Max turned 11 years old on Monday. I’m not going to wax nostalgic at his disappearing little kid years cause, as most of you know, I enjoy seeing him grow older and don’t miss stages we’ve passed. I’m enjoying my kid in the present and trying to stay there. I try not to project into the future either because I find it unproductive. I’m very zen about parenting at least five minutes a day.
Max requested that I make sure he doesn’t grow up to be a serial killer. So we had a discussion about why I already know he isn’t going to be a serial killer. It’s funny because back before I was staying in the present with my kid I used to worry about that exact same thing. Raising a boy really scared me. I’m still kind of scared of messing him up, obviously, but I work much harder not to focus on it.
He had a checkup last Friday and he’s doing well. His medication is still working, his vitals are all good, and we’re not to worry about his weight gain because he’s “at that age” where boys apparently experience a lot of physical changes. In other words the doctor was warning me that he’s about to hit THE HORMONAL STAGE. Damn. For his birthday he had his two best buddies for a sleepover (something I never let him do because it makes me hate all children to have three young boys in my house for more than 2 hours at a time, he’s usually only allowed one friend at a time for a sleepover) – anyway – I noticed one of his friends had B.O. He’s 11 years old and his sweat is stinking! Max’s still hasn’t started to smell “manly” but I get it – it’s what’s coming.
I’m reading a book right now that has made me realize that if a make-out session lasts more than one page I find it incredibly tedious. I already knew I didn’t care for all the details of a character’s sexual encounters to be painted out for me, but I was reminded of this fact last night. I will not read this author again because she has used the word “throbbing” in her sex scenes. So now I just want to get the book over with. If there’s another 3 page description of the “innocent” but eager virgin getting taught the glories and delights of being almost deflowered (manually, if you catch my drift) this indicates that I’m going to be treated to the ACTUAL deflowering event (oh joy) and I may just abandon the book. I want to know what happens and until the word “swelling” was used to describe the state of the hero’s trousers the writing wasn’t bad and the story was interesting. Bummer. I’m branching out and trying new authors and new books. I’m bound to find myself disappointed plenty.
-The Next Day-
My sister suggested I skip pages in books to avoid the shit I don’t want to read. Brilliant-it has never occurred to me that I can do this. I will try it. Even so, I prefer not to read authors who write in a manner I find distasteful so I will not read more of this one. At least I can finish this book without being further assaulted by the adventures of virginal nipples.
On our way to Portland we (my mom, sister, and I) engaged in a book discussion which was really interesting. I have realized for some time that I work very hard to protect myself from the kinds of stories that make me angry or that go on to live uncomfortably in my head. I used to read everything. Everything. Just trying new authors at this point is going out on a limb for me. I have mixed feelings about this. It makes me feel weak and stupid to only read books that I know will be enjoyable without depressing me or riling me up. Like back when I chose to not watch the news anymore. I did it for my mental health but it still made me feel stupid that I would have nightmares about the news all the time and be sunk ever-deeper into my already established state of depression and anxiety.
There is another side to choosing the limitations I do on my reading: ever since starting to write “The Winter Room” I have felt it is important not to allow much influence of other words in my head. I’ve been re-reading all my favorites over and over because they are known and will introduce nothing to my psyche that wasn’t already there for a long time. I feel it’s more important to keep my moods neutral as I read, keeping my reading enjoyable rather than life-changing. That’s truly only a minor issue to me but still, it’s there.
I’m off to Portland again today. I’m going with my sister, Max, Philip, and we’re meeting my brother there. Max hasn’t seen his uncle in about five years. We’re going to Powell’s books and then to the Kennedy School for lunch. It’s still raining but not storming like it was yesterday.
Have a great Thanksgiving!