The Midnight Disease

You know those parents who brag about their children? Every mundane thing they do is perceived as special or amazing and they tell everyone within earshot? Yeah, well, I’m one of those sad fathers.

I have three daughters. They are 15, 8, and 7. So far they are intelligent and passionate about education. Today, my wife met with out youngest’s first grade teacher. The review was extremely positive. My baby is reading at a 4th grade level. Her social skills are extraordinary. She sits at the “gifted” table. The thing that warmed my pathetic daddy heart most was hearing that my little one has the same disease I have. She has the constant drive to write, well. She has “the midnight disease”.

Today I was served, through email, a rejection notice. I’m writing two novellas simultaneously. One of which is about a female indie rock musician named Helene Troy. You can read some of it here: . Usually, rejection hits me in the chest like a boxing jab. Today it made me smile.

My daughter’s drive is similar to mine. When I was in the 4th grade, between the ages of 8 and 9, I won my first award for writing. It was about 200 words explaining the relationship between a little boy and his pet 50 foot snake named Mike . I was rocking a metaphor in grade school because the snake was meant to convey my need for an older brother. I only had a younger sister. The memory of my teachers, classmates, and family complimenting me on the story and the ribbon I won from the county school system satisfied in ways that drive me through sleeplessness over my writing now.

I picked up my daughter from the bustop and told her how proud I was and then discussed writing with my new colleague. She had written about a birthday party she attended with ehr mother at the roller skaing rink during the summer. My 7 year old peer told me how she worked on her story for several days. She wanted to make sure her mommy sounded pretty and the party sounded fun. That’s the disease. Writing what comes to your mind is easy. Writing what comes from your heart is special.

I write every day. My kid does too. It something we have to do. It’s something we love to do. I’m pretty tough on my kids about going to bed on time and not getting up. Now that I know I have someone else in the house that wakes up at midnight or all hours of the day and night with ideas that need to find paper, I may have to lighten up. After all, a good parent treats their sick kids differently.