This is the second post of a five-part guest blog series.
Tracie Welser is a graduate of the 2010 Clarion West Writers Workshop. When she’s not parenting or teaching Women’s Studies and grammar in a classroom near you, she might be obsessing over owls, drumming, stories about time travel, or utopias and dystopias at www.thisisnotanowl.com.
As this blog tells me with humor and flair, I’m not alone in the daily struggle to carve out space for my creative life. Disruptive energy brews and swirls around kids in the palpable manner of that cute little dust cloud following Pigpen around in Charlie Brown comics. When my son comes near me, my internal red-alert sounds. I automatically guard my toes against inadvertent stomping, and I clutch personal electronics closer in hopes they aren’t about to be shorted out by squirted CapriSun. The creative work of my brain switches to a subroutine in the background while my forebrain attempts to answer endless questions, such as “Mommy, why was the Arc de Triomphe built?” and “What is this I found in my nose?” and “Do you think Mothman sightings are real?”
I have a part-time job that pays for my family’s groceries and gas money and the odd mad moment of shopping abandonment via the clearance racks. I’m basically pulling in minimum wage but I like what I do, I can work around my kids’ school schedules and I like being able to feed my family. (Call me crazy, right?) Since my income has to stretch just a wee bit further than it can, I went to a “paying cash” mode years ago…actually counting out the green stuff really helps a person know where their dollar is going. Also, I have found that certain forms of currency spend easier than others. Twenties, for example. (Of course, if I were truly fiscally responsible, it wouldn’t go to Burgerville nearly so often. But at least I only give my kids “good” fast-food. Oh yeah, it’s good, all right.) Anyhoo, since 90% of the time I have at least one kiddo in the car with me, and since 100% of my kiddos still have to sit in booster or car seats, I avoid taking my kids into establishments if at all possible. Hence, the bank’s drive-up teller is my friend. Well, all except for one of them.