From three p.m. until eight-thirty tonight, my house was party central. At the peak, I think I counted seven schoolchildren and five moms, plus me. Three boys came home from school, moms began to arrive after four with other children in tow, and soon it was happy hour on the front porch while the boys played football on the lawn. I live on a busy street and don’t like for them, even in numbers, to be out there without an adult. It was all fun, and I enjoyed it, though the boys get to screaming and the moms get to talking, and I can’t always hear what’s going on.
But it was a perfect afternoon, just the right temperature, with a slight breeze. I sat there, told myself my work could wait, and I would enjoy the blessings of having friends and children around me.
I began to feel, however, that I’d had enough wine and not enough dinner, so I came in and worked in the kitchen a bit, which soon did in my back. So I worked at my computer, went back outside and offered to defrost hot dogs for everyone.
I love having my house party central, and I love having people around me, but it poses the perpetual dilemma: when do you draw the line and say, “I’m a writer. I have work to do.” Now, at nine o’clock, with details taken care of, kitchen cleaned courtesy Jordan, I’m out of steam and so am missing my thousand words a night for the second night in a row. It’s the age-old question for writers and others—how do I have a full, balanced life and still have time for my writing (or art, or music, or whatever). I wish I knew the answer, because I don’t want to give up any of the wonderful parts of my life.