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All the Time in the World
Wrestling with Fatherhood+Job+Art
When my kid was six months old, a friend asked if becoming a parent changed me as a writer. He wanted me to say that my writing got deeper or more interesting. Instead, I shrugged and said, "There's never enough time.”
My kid is two years old, and even with daycare help, it still feels like there's never enough time. I know I can’t complain. I’m lucky to have a full-time job. Lucky to be a dad. Lucky to have any scrap of time to write.
I think about quitting sometimes. Putting aside the long-gestating TV & film projects, abandoning the novel. But then I get that scrap of time, a cup of coffee, and that hit of dopamine only writing can create. And I’m torn.
Whenever my toddler is sick, I get a peek into what an alternate life could look like. I don't bother to write when he’s ill. I do my job and be a dad. And it feels so stress-free. The battle, the arguments, for that scrap of time — gone.
I feel guilty writing this. Being a dad has filled me with a love I never knew possible. I’d straight up walk into traffic for this kid. The highs are incredible, a gift. My greatest accomplishment.
I look around.
The place needs painting.
The hot water is on the fritz.
The novel begs to be rewritten.
The doctor says I need to go to the gym.
The kid has a fever.
There’s never enough time.
I promised myself not to pass down bad traits to my son. But, sometimes, I complain about time in front of him. Sometimes I stop myself. Sometimes, I let er rip.
The other night, I was putting him to bed. We have a routine. I read a few books, and then we say goodnight to the inanimate objects in his room.
We had a late start, and I was trying to speed through the process. I wanted to edit some pages after he was asleep.
He could feel that energy seeping off me — kids always do.
He looked at me with the sweetest face in the world and said:
“We’re running out of time.”
I knew he wasn’t talking about life and death; he was probably just repeating something I said. But still, it felt profoundly sad for a two-year-old to say.
I rubbed his back, and he slowly drifted asleep.
“You're not running out of time,” I whispered. “You have all the time in the world.”
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