by Scott Rhoades
With my kids' encouragement, I've been taking some time from my writing schedule (what there is of one, anyway) to write down some memories of my growing up years. I've always resisted the idea of writing a personal history. I never thought I had anything really interesting to say. But now that I'm getting older and the area where I grew up has changed so much, my memories are suddenly kind of interesting, especially to my kids.
I think what it comes down to is, now that my parents are aging, I wish I knew them better and knew more about them. My dad doesn't really talk about that kind of stuff. My mom can be prodded to talk, but doesn't think a lot of what she has to say is interesting.
As writers, we have a talent for writing in an entertaining way, and, when appropriate, assigning meaning to events. I can't think of many better ways to use that talent than to give something to our children that will help them know us better.
It's hard, though, to take the time away from the other things we want to write. We don't have unlimited time to work on our stories. Taking time to write for my kids means it will take me longer to finish my works in progress.
I guess it comes down to priorities. Right now, doing this for my children is important to me. Maybe it's because I'm approaching a milestone birthday. Maybe it stems from my mother-in-law dying earlier in the year. Or maybe I'm just feeling nostalgic and enjoying going back and replaying memories. Whatever the cause, I'm not going to analyze it too much. I'm just going to write this for my kids. They're enjoying it so far, and so am I. And it feels like the right thing to do at this point in my life.