This morning my son and I were sitting on the couch sipping hot chocolate and coffee and watching cartoons. (No school today. It’s MLK day.) He looked over at me during the commercial break and asked, “Mommy, do you know where my DS is?”
“You let your sister borrow it last night, so it’s probably in her room.”
There was a moment of silence where you could see him weighing the pros and cons. (His sister was still asleep and not the most pleasant person when rudely awakened.)
“If I am really quiet do you think I can go get it out of her room?”
I grinned at my blue eyed boy. “Go for it.”
(Cue Mission Impossible Music.)
Creeping down the dark hall, (that we had already tromped down repeatedly that morning) he slipped up to the closed door plastered with kitten posters and eyed the door knob. I followed from a safe distance to observe. Indiana Jones switching the golden idol for a bag of sand didn’t move as carefully as my son, turning the door handle and easing it open. (It’s a dangerous thing invading an older sister’s room while she sleeps.)
Soft snores echoed from the pink blanketed bed as he stepped deeper into her inner sanctum. Then he saw it. His Nintendo DS sat on the corner of her desk. Moving quickly, he snatched up what he came for and headed back just as the snores stopped and the bed creaked. Leaving the door open he grinned at me and ran for the living room.
I peeked in on my sleeping daughter, smiled and shut the door. My son was standing back in the hall with a serious expression when I turned around.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“The stylus is still in there.”
To make a long story short, the second trip into the room didn’t go as smoothly. It ended with my son and I running down the hall yelling “The Leviathan awakes!” While my daughter stumbled toward the bathroom muttering, “Not funny.”
Well, yeah. Welcome to my house. We have a budding artist, a future film maker, and a writer all under one roof. (My daughter, my son, and me.) Our kitchen table is always buried under paper. Story notes are covered by sketches and stick figures spouting dialogue.
When we are all home the house is never “clean”. The dishes may be done and the clothes washed but that is about as good as it gets. Straightening the living room is a lost cause. We spend a lot of time there. If we clean it, that only provides an empty canvas for a new project.
Beyond our usual interests my son likes to build things, my daughter likes to bake, and I sew…sort of. We all like to read. Our house is a book covered, creative mess most of the time. Though Monday through Friday from around 10am to 2pm it is neat and tidy…unless I have lost track of time while writing. (I clean when I get stuck.)
Last week while checking my son’s backpack I pulled out two monkeys and a snake. Then while I was busy being amused, the cat ran by carrying a fake mustache in its mouth. (True story.)
We may not have a “normal” household, but it is perfect for us. The Creative Well that my blog is named after, isn’t just a place in a writer’s imagination. For me, it is also my home. It’s the everyday things that inspire me. It’s my son and daughter creating something new or discovering something they have never seen. It’s the sense of awe in their faces, the excitement and the wonder.
One of my favorite scenes from Alice in Wonderland is where she falls down the rabbit hole. She passes clocks, books, nick knacks and rocking chairs. Everyday things that are suddenly shown in a new perspective.
As a fiction writer, that is what I love best. Taking an everyday place or object and revealing magic. It’s what I admire most about the author’s that I read. The diner in Draw One In The Dark by Sarah Hoyt, a falling star in Stardust by Neil Gaiman, the hats that Sophie makes in Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones… I could kept the list going forever. Don’t believe me? Check out just one book by Robert Asprin (ferrets) or Terry Pratchett (The luggage).
I think everyday magic is the best kind. It is what makes you dream.