Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh, Snap.

In college, like all students, I procrastinated like hell. So the hours directly preceding my advanced writing courses usually found me stuffing an entire muffin down my gullet while I raced to the computer lab, hoping one of the dinosaurs that still accepted my floppy disc was open so I could glance over my woefully inadequate notes and pump out some writing that at least appeared to be advanced.

One such day, I was accosted down the sidewalk from the computer lab by a screeching nerve bundle of a man who wore a sandwich board proclaiming all the groups he thought were on their way to hell ("pencil-necked men" was my favorite, but "rebellious women" got bigger play). Like all right-thinking human beings, I was compelled to spend the next twenty minutes trying to disabuse him of his psychotic assholery mistaken ideas, all the while resisting the urge to employ his sandwich board and a whistle he repeatedly blew in some decidedly more creative manners.

That, most definitely, is a story for another time. But the upshot that day was that once I arrived at the computer lab, I had ten minutes to crank out a masterpiece, and the line for PCs wrapped around to the drinking fountain that always smelled like ass. So I hightailed it to the front of the Mac line, which was always a couple of students long, plunked down, typed from the top of my head, and printed it off. I called it "Snapshots of My Family," and chronicled moments of my family from the last ten years. That essay got the best grade of the semester.

The moral here is definitely not to blow off writing. I have learned my lesson the hard way about that, as has, I suspect, anyone who has ever put pen to paper or finger to keyboard (or put off doing so to put mouth to beer bottle or ... well, never mind). The moral that I should have immediately gleaned from this is to get the hell over myself and just write. I plan, and plan, and plan. And think about writing. And plan some more.

As before, my son shows me how it's done. He just does.

It always goes the same. I'm neck-deep in some Important Stuff drudgery.

"Mom, come on! The clouds are glowing!"

"I'm coming!" I lie.

"Just come on."

And I do.

Here, then, starting with that awesome cloud shot, are some of his snapshots. And in words, some of mine. I think maybe I'll do this once a week. You know, just because.

**He sat down in the office chair, still in his pajamas, and wanted to know about the big bang and human evolution. I told him. He understood.**

**He ran in and needed his camera right now to capture the sunset. He was right. It was almost neon, it was so bright.**

**He held back tears as we searched the house for the stupid cat, who had been missing for hours. The cat eventually wandered down the stairs nonchalantly, whereupon he was ambushed by a strangle hug and a teary seven-year-old who wanted nothing more than to bury his face in cat fur. The cat actually seemed to like it.**

**My husband found a huge toad in our driveway after the recent rain, and we all sneaked outside to watch it eat crickets. The cat darted outside. We collected him, deposited him in the house, and went back outside to stalk the toad with a flashlight. My son's still talking about how its fat legs trailed behind it when it hopped.**

**He took my side, but managed not to be a know-it-all, as my husband claimed that the Harry Potter actors pronounce Voldemort "Vahldemart."**

**He hung a notebook-paper sign -- "Seacrit Headquarters" -- on the unusued spare bathroom upstairs. The inside is plastered with more paper: "artwork painting" drawings of us, control panel buttons, a menu, and a drawing of every pet he's ever loved, living and deceased.**

**He riffed off some background music in a cartoon last night, and made a song and beat that was totally unique, but had real cadence and rhythm.**

**My husband and I stalked a dragonfly together the other day, hiding from our son because, technically, I had my feet a couple of inches in the water when I wasn't supposed to. Minnows nibbled my heels.**


Mister German said... Best Blogger Tips

I love this story/post/realization. What children have over us is their willingness to play. Artists should always approach "work" as play. Only after the playtime does the artficer, the craft, come in. In my opinion.

dirt said... Best Blogger Tips

Wait, your son took the pictures in this post? Wow, that's so cool.

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

@German: Exactly. I forget that most of the time.

@Dirt: I know; isn't he amazing? It's a pretty good camera he uses but even so, he's good. I look over his stuff and actually get jealous sometimes.