March 20, 2006

Writing is Child's Play

Anyone familiar with Motherlode knows I frequently write about my kids. People ask how I ever come up with stuff to write about. Some people ask me to stop coming up with stuff to write about.

All the names in my column have been changed, except my own. I got to effectively name my boys twice, which was kind of cool. 'Marc' hates his Motherlode name, but I told him he had as much say now as he did when he was born. 'Marc' is what I wanted to name him originally, and I figured better late than never. 'Jackson' couldn't care less...he doesn't even read it.

Sometimes people send me their own funny kid tales (which I love getting), and want me to write about them. I can't - if I didn't live it, I can't relay it. But I wish everyone would record those moments for their own family history. Note more than births and deaths and marriages. I crammed a bean up my nose when I was four, and it is in the hallowed family archives. The story, not the bean.

Jackson,11, an actor without equal, will often do something, pause, and look at me. He will then offer to do it again, funnier. He will ask if I'm going to write about it. He will provide variations, rehearsals, and improv. I tell him to go sit down.

Marc,14, mostly begs me not to write about him. A rich, rich field is going untilled here...but he'll be my son longer than I'll be writing a column. Initially, I had to pay each kid five bucks if I got to use something embarrassing. They were earning more than I was.

The trick is never about running out of things to write about - it's about choosing from an embarrassment of riches.

And according to my sons, the emphasis is on 'embarrassment'.


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