I originally posted this blog back in April, 2011. Athena has come a long way since then. Her resiliency is unrivalled; I admit I get caught up in the bustle of my own life instead of sitting back & appreciating the lessons my own daughter silently teaches me.
There exist moments I don’t think I can do this – achieving a goal…chasing down a dream. I get too caught up worrying why the people I think would take interest in what I do, don’t. Afraid to step off the edge of the cliff and trust my wings. It is so easy to get washed in a tsunami of doubt.
But then you wake to a smiling face, and no matter the mistakes you’ve made before, no matter how difficult it is to keep grinding things out, that amazing, little face provides every answer you could ever need.
Sometimes, you just need a reminder of why you’re doing something, & who you are truly doing it for…
I’m Joseph Pinto. Mr. Mom. Horror writer.
It isn’t easy. Being a horror writer, that is. Spent most my life sacrificing my dream of becoming an author rather than chasing it down. Sacrificed it to a thankless family business besieged by greed, deceit and corruption, and then sacrificed it to start my own. Sacrificed it to daily bouts of depression endured over demons long gone; sacrificed it to bad luck, ill fate, those who will never truly believe and those who will never own belief.
The perfect makeup for a writer.
But I’m Mr. Mom now, and I earned the right. Busted my ass so one day I could work from home, remain at home, give my child something I did not have but needed in my own youth. Childhood is tough. Who’d have thought? It leaves a lot of scars sometimes. Ironic most aren’t discovered until so much later on.
But I’m Mr. Mom now. Need to shuttle my daughter around to therapy of some sort or another nearly every day of the week. Born with a deletion of her chromosome 7, the doctors say. Still not sure how to classify it. They only know it can cause delayed growth and development, intellectual disability, distinctive facial features, skeletal abnormalities, delayed speech, and other medical problems.
Reads like a horror story. I’m a horror writer. You’d think I’d be ready for it. You think it’s easy?
My daughter doesn’t know horror. Doesn’t know the horrors of the world; doesn’t know the nightmares her daddy has faced, both real and imagined. She only knows Cookie Monster, Cinderella, Tinkerbell and the purity of love. She works hard everyday. Pushes everyday. Progresses everyday.
It isn’t easy. Being a horror writer, that is. Most friends and family and strangers give two shits less what you do or what you’re attempting to achieve, unless of course you’re sharing with the world that you’re stuck in traffic watching a bald man pick shards of wax from his ear in the car beside you. Then, this is newsworthy. Then, this is big.
This is the fruit of sacrifice?
But I’m Mr. Mom now. Shaping a tender life from all I ever did right, all I ever did wrong, all I have learned, and all I will never know. Cupping innocence so gingerly God forbid it should ever leak from between my fingers.
Yes, this is the fruit of sacrifice. I know now I will do it again and again.
It isn’t easy being a horror writer.
But being Mr. Mom is.