Picking Scabs

up a klutz and a tomboy, I had my share of scabby knees and elbows, and, like
anybody, I occasionally liked to pick at them.  But I never considered myself a compulsive scab-picker.  I was not one of those kids who spent
all of math class making every scab and bug bite bleed anew.  And I was more than a little leery of
anyone who actually liked picking scabs or peeling sunburns so much that they
offered to do it for other people (oh, come on, you know who you are).  So I’m a little perplexed at my inability
to leave my writing alone long enough to get the distance and perspective I
need to really revise.  It’s not
that I don’t have other things to do–I still haven’t finished grading those
stories I mentioned last week.  I
think it has more to do with the fact I’ve bonded with my work, even the crappy
parts of it.  It’s like I’ve got a
three hundred and ninety-something page baby.  Or, hopefully at this point, I’ve got a pimply teenager who
just needs a little more guidance before being ready to face the world.  I wouldn’t leave a teen to his own
devices for a month and expect him to have raised himself–though, sadly, there
are some who seem to think this is a legitimate parenting technique.  That may even be worse than the parents
who can’t cut the strings and send their child’s teachers frantic “high
importance” emails at twelve at night on a Saturday.  Don’t these people know I have better
things to do on my Saturday nights? 
Like reread and revise my draft–again.                          Oh,
crap.  I’ve become a helicopter
parent to an inanimate object. 
I’ve become the nasty scab-scratcher who uses the teacher’s tissues to
dab at his bloody shins and never manages to hit the wastebasket when he
throws them away.  Nothing good can
come from hovering or picking. 
Your child will not be brighter or more studious because you forced it
down his throat.  Your scab will
not heal because you scrape at it with your grubby fingernail.  And I will never be able to fix any
real problems my story still has by nitpicking every comma and dash.  True, I can’t totally neglect the kid,
nor can I ignore the fact that there are some definite bruises and scrapes that
need attending to, but like dealing with a lot in life, much more can be gained
by stepping back, taking a deep breath (or a large gulp of wine), and trying
again later.  In the meantime, I’ll
stop being passive-aggressive and respond to some of those parent emails–but
maybe I’ll start with the glass of wine.



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2 responses to “Picking Scabs

  1. Linz

    What a coincidence, I was drinking a glass of wine whilst reading your Blog! And some cheese/crackers/salami, which were made a little less appetizing with all the talk of oozy scabs… 🙂


  2. Lauren's Blog

    Sorry, I should have put a disclaimer about reading this week’s blog while eating!


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