Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bad Parenting

I feel like a bad parent.

Not towards my actual baby though. His needs are fairly simple: hungry, tired, poopy. At six weeks old worst he can do is pee on me or scream at me. No back talk, no breaking stuff. No real existential choices to be made on my part, did I do the right thing, did I discipline him right or teach him the right lesson. Most days, I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on it. I'm sure it will all change tomorrow when I have to go back to work and figure out how to balance Work Lucy with Mom Lucy.

But that brings me to the biggest thing weighing on me is whatever happened to Artist/Writer Lucy?

Not having time to doodle or paint or start my next book doesn't actually bother me too much. No, it's just one project. One person. The one that got left behind.

It's been nearly a year since I've done any work on my Kevin Zombie comic. Or has it been more? I don't even know. I created Kevin when I thought I wanted to be a comic book writer. Or artist. Or both. I had no idea what I was getting into, how big his story would be and what a time commitment comic book art truly is. How naive of me to think it would be quick and easy to build a world. To make a character real. I did the sketches, the pre-work, the rough drafts, the inking, the coloring. I gave him a world, and friends and enemies, and a family.

And then I just ditched him because he was too much work.

He was my Velveteen Rabbit: he became real because of all the love and work I poured into him. And now I feel like I abandoned my real son, for the Real one I physically gave birth to. Maybe writing Kevin was a wistful longing for Rowan. I don't think I ever really consciously wished specifically for a son, but when I began to think about having children, I began to think about the type of kid I would want for a son. And Kevin was it. Funny, flawed, noble, kind, maybe a little over-given to wallowing in angst, but he gets that from his mom. This was the kid I wanted to watch grow from a child into a man.

I take a small consolation in knowing that Kevin's story is written, that is, I've written the ending, or at least a conclusive stopping point. So I know it has a happy ending, an ending that I think any parent would want for their child. But maybe my subconscious knew I would have to walk out on Kevin, because it the story I wrote (***SPOILER ALERT!****) Kevin's zombie mother abandons him too. But he overcomes the anger and the hurt and is able to forgive her and rebuild the relationship by the end. In the end, he's able to stand on his own.

I just wish I could watch him get there. See it all play out on paper in front of me, not just in my mind's eye. It seems so strange to want to give a zombie the right to life, but it was so cool not just for me to watch Kevin, which would have been enough for me, but to have even a few people on the internet rooting for him as well. It's every mothers dream to send your kid out into the world and know that they are loved by someone, especially if they aren't finished becoming the person you know they can be.

So I hope Kevin will forgive me. And my readers as well. I do want to continue one day. I believe I will, it's why I just can't bring myself to delete the web hosting account. It just might be a long, long wait.

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