It’s my great pleasure to host my husband, Mr. Rome (aka Lukas Holmes) for a special guest Fathers’ Day post today. Take it away, Mr. Rome! =)
I woke up with a peeled banana next to my pillow the other day. For a minute I couldn’t place what it was. I leaned in close, gave it a sleepy sniff, then a sleepy poke of my finger, then realized that obviously one of our two girls (I hope) had brought in a snack the day before and left it in our bed.
Glad to have solved the mystery, I rolled over and went back to sleep.
This is the level of acceptance you grow to have as a parent. Finding strange food in your bed once upon a time would have been a cause for alarm. Now, depending on the level of smell and your level of exhaustion, it isn’t even enough to get you to grab it and chuck it in the trash.
Because, after all, at least it wasn’t poop you found on the pillow next to you.
While these little moments can be a great indication of how much we have changed since becoming parents, I would argue the biggest change I have encountered since becoming a father is in direct relation to my writing.
Here is a typical day:
5am Kids wake up. Wander through the house with them as they scream for breakfast. Hand them coffee in a cereal bowl while I attempt to drink cereal from a coffee mug.
Spend five minutes working out character development.
Spend ten minutes trying to remember which story I’m working on.
6:30am Realize that the kids drank all of my coffee. Hide the evidence from their mother. Frantically look up ramifications of letting children drink coffee. Get distracted by Goodreads.
6:58am Hear crying and look up to see one child standing over the other holding a foam sword, about to deliver the killing blow. Laugh for a moment then cringe when they do it over and over again while staring up at me with maniacal glee. Cringe further when they drag said sword across their own throat then point at me. Never sleep again.
Spend three minutes writing down bones of short story related to murderous pirate children.
7:35am Let them play in the backyard and marvel at just how good they are at finding and ingesting bugs.
8:00am Read to them. Normally something I am writing. Smile when they enjoy it, quietly plan a lifetime of passive aggressive revenge when they don’t.
8:35am Throw things at them. Soft things. Unless they really didn’t like what I read. Then throw them at each other.
9am Look up how much it costs to hire a reputable, high-end au pair.
9:05am Discover that one of them has buried the other in the sandbox.
9:10am Look up how much it costs to hire less reputable, middle of the road au pairs.
10am Stop them from choking the dog by her collar because they don’t understand life and death.
10:05am Wonder how much the crazy looking man with the strange accent across the street that spends all day sharpening things on his porch would charge for a few hours of child care.
Spend half an hour quietly editing latest work while the children crawl on my back and pluck loose hairs from neck, back of my head, top of my head and face.
Of course I kid. My daughters have not only opened my eyes to a world of love…and smells…they have improved my dedication to the craft of writing immeasurably. Not only do I find myself forced to stay home more (something about child abandonment), I find that viewing the world through their eyes gives me a fresh take on almost every topic I could ever think of. These two little living creatures, made up of my wife’s DNA and my unfortunate genetics (hope you girls like acne), inspire me to new heights every day. They see magic in every inch of this world that makes me fall in love with it, and them, again and again.
Additionally, I like to think of my writing as my legacy to them. A love letter to their childhoods and to the world we love so much. I wouldn’t trade a minute of our time together for anything and I can say, honestly, on this Fathers’ Day, nothing makes me work harder, love more, smile wider, and laugh louder than those two little girls.
But if anyone knows a good babysitter…
Lukas Holmes has had a lifelong love affair with adventure through the arts and literature. He grew up enjoying the forgotten art of radio dramas and cut his teeth on reading comic books, Charles Dickens, and Sherlock Holmes. He lives in Colorado with his wife, two daughters, and dog.
His first book in the Perilous Journeys of Wilona Bumbridge series, THIS WORLD OR THE NEXT, was released in February 2012. His next book in the series, THIS DARKER NOW, is due out Summer 2012.
LUKAS HOLMES LINKS