When do women write?

When do I write? When do I sneak in a moment or two to scribble down a word, finish a chapter, dash off that essay?

Is it after the laundry is done, hung up on the line? Do I write a word after each shirt I put on the hanger? Do I scribble a sentence in between soaking the diapers and scrubbing the chocolate stains off the onesies? Or do I cross out that metaphor after the clothes are dry, and they’re folded and put neatly away?

When do I put pencil to paper? Is it after lunch is ready? Do I finish that sentence after the baby has eaten, food all over his chin and shirt? Do I complete that paragraph after the dishes are cleared and the pots and pans are sitting in the sink?

When do I put the thoughts into words? Is it after I build robots out of blocks and dinosaurs out of clay? Do I find the right words under the sofa, sitting beside the tiniest Lego piece?

When do I finish that draft? After the bath full of bubbles and giraffes and boats? Do I find the right segue amidst the suds, floating in the bath water?

When do I find the right ending? In the dreams that come with naptime? In the crook of the little arm thrown across my breast? Will the thoughts flow in between the gentle snores coming from my little son?

When will my fingers fly across my keyboard? After we go to the park, sun in our eyes as Lucas goes down the slide a dozen times? When will the words flash across my screen? After he chases the cats around the playground, picks up every fallen leaf, climbs all the monkey bars?

When do I write? When does any mother find the time to write?

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