Once upon a time, I was seven years old. My parents had just split up, my dad didn’t get back from work for a couple of hours, and the rule was, I didn’t go out and play unless he was home and knew where I’d gone. Our television was black and white and back then, we got two hours of child friendly programming before the news came on and that was it. (Gilligan’s Island, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch—this is why everyone my age loves those shows.) I was lonely, bored, and probably hungry.
Not with a pen and paper, or, even better, a computer (God, what I could have done with a computer!) but by sitting my stuffed animals in a circle around me on the floor and telling them a story. They were a very good audience, except for the stuffed dog who kept falling over.
Didn’t matter. I wrote.
Several years later in a different time, I was a young-ish mother who had lost her job and had two children under two on a six-acre spread in a drafty house in the middle of nowhere. My son had a communication handicap, my husband worked and went to school eighty hours a week, and I had no car.