Life Gets Teejus

by jkatejohnston

20 November 2013

Dear Max,

I’ve been reading and editing my diary for this year, and my god. I’m only in February, and I’m already distressed by the perkiness. I’ve made it sound as if I’m always in a good mood, always interested and amused by Life, Enzo is completely entertaining and never an ass, Teresa and I are never bored or resentful.

So, for the record, I am bored off my ass most of the time. And I resent everything.

It’s a writing problem, and I love writing problems. (There’s that god damn positive attitude again.) Anyway, how do you write about the boring parts (that is, most of life) without being boring? How do you keep a Diary of Record that’s so partial? I don’t know the answer, so I’ll just baldly state that spending time with children, even your own, is unbelievably tedious. And I don’t even spend that much time with Enzo compared to Teresa.

I remember a remark my big sister made about work. “It’s what you don’t want to do. That’s why they give you money.” That’s what taking care of kids is: it’s what you don’t want to do. But no one gives you money. The only thing Enzo and I both love is TV, but not the same shows.

And yet. Just like paid work, it makes your world bigger. I don’t want to spend the weekend watching salmon and then fishing for them and then reading about them. But they are pretty great. Sometimes, with kids, you get to borrow their delight. But still, I don’t want to go to children’s birthday parties or the park or the library (where I can’t even get up to the grownup books). But seeing Enzo make his bee line right for the fish and reptile and dinosaur books and then plunk down in the aisle and read them with his eager concentration, it’s great, that’s all.

Just to clarify: he doesn’t read, but what he’s doing can’t accurately be called looking. He wants the information. The pictures have a lot of information. He calls it reading, so that’s what it is.