We’re back from a 3-day weekend in Wildwood. The boys had a great time (I think), since they each had their own room for the first time since we left New York 7+ years ago. They didn’t recognize at the time what a wonderful thing it was, but now it’s something different, especially since they’re home and sharing a room again. They’re back on each other’s nerves. This led me to think about my favorite things. Offhand I came up with a few:
1. Talking to my kids – Once in a while I get a chance to talk to them, one on one, face to face, no distractions, to find out what’s going on in their minds. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched them as babies, sleeping peacefully in their beds, and wondered what they were dreaming about. What goes on in those tiny minds?) Over the weekend I took Alex to the amusment pier, where we rode the log flume together and I let him ride the rollercoaster without me. We’d walk hand in hand when it got crowded and I was afraid I’d lose him. We shared a snack at the Boardwalk Fries stand, and we played a few games. During dinner, Ryan had a few things to say about his time in Wildwood. I got to know them better. They’re fun people.
2. Writing – I also spent some time over the weekend trying to come up with the perfect motivation for Paul in Release Point. I think I have it; it’s just a matter of making it fit in. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have a story brewing in the back of my mind at all times. Where would all these ideas go?
3. Sunsets – Okay, it probably sounds hokey, but I have this thing for cloud formations and sunsets. They never fail to take my breath away. Just watching the sun setting, casting a rainbow of earth-toned hues into the sky, never fails to remind me how small I really am in this world.
4. Music – Something else that takes me out of myself when I really need to be out of myself. A few times I’d get aggravated by whatever was going on, but I’d put on my iPod and listen to something that somehow just knew when to pop up on my Shuffle playlist, and I’d breathe better. Even more fun is scouting around iTunes and running into something I haven’t heard in ages, or finding something I’d never heard before and feeling that click between how I feel and how I want my characters to feel. This is why I have over 900 songs on my iPod, and I’m the happiest girl in town.
5. Pictures – Yet another of my creative outlets. I took 2 cameras with me this weekend and half the time I wished I had the other camera with me. One takes better (and more) video, the other takes better pictures, but I got the pictures I wanted. Go to www.flickr.com and look up CFaker17 to see our Wildwood photo set. Those aren’t even the best ones, but I didn’t want to dump too much on Flickr on one day.
6. Dreams – We have plans for this weekend that I won’t share at the moment, but it involves shaking hands with someone who helped me really get my goals in motion. Every once in a while I’ll think about what on earth I’m going to say to the man; sometimes I think of something coherent but most times I don’t. If I remember the coherent stuff, I’m going to have to write it down. At the absolute least, I have to say “Thank you.”
7. Fudge – We were at the Shore. ‘Nuff said. You can’t go to the Shore without getting some fudge. It’s just wrong. There should be a checkpoint on the AC Expressway or the Parkway, and if you didn’t buy fudge, they make you go back and get some. I’ll never understand people who don’t like chocolate. I know they’re out there, and I accept that they’re different, but I’d love to know what they’re addicted to if it’s not chocolate fudge. There has to be something. I hope it’s just as fun.
8. Being Here – I saw a Bud commercial (there seems to be something inherently wrong with connecting beer to this concept) where people are milling about an airport when a small group of soldiers passes through, carrying their duffels. Bystanders stop what they’re doing and applaud. I realize that “freedom isn’t free”, and I have my opinions about the war and President Bush, but above and beyond all that, I recognize that at this very minute, halfway around the world, there are people out there who’ve sacrificed the chance to see their child being born or walking for the first time, or have accepted that their child is going to be scared to death upon seeing Daddy (or even Mommy) for the first time in 18 months, or all the other monumental milestones in their family’s life that they’re going to miss, and they’ve done so for us, in one format or another. I know in my heart that I don’t have the backbone to give that up, and I appreciate that they do. For all those soldiers walking through the airport or the sand, thank you for being stronger than I am. Happy Memorial Day.