Adventures in Family Life

Yesterday, in a fit of “where-the-hell-is-spring” cabin fever, my family and I embarked upon an unplanned adventure.  Where we had initially intended to stop by Govin’s Farm and check out all of the newbie animals that had been birthed recently, we decided to extend that trip even further and continue on to the Twin Cities following our visit with the baby-mals.  Without really telling our children (who immediately went into nap-time mode as we re-entered the car) we made our way the extra hour to the Mall of America, both of them awaking as we neared the parking garage.

2013-03-24 15.52.52Needless to say, they were both confused, but then also delighted. I mean, these two played hard, walking around, checking stuff out, hugging sharks and sea-sponges.  My daughter and I rode on the Log Chute together, and we overall just had a spectacular time doing something, as opposed to the winter-long drought of doing much of anything at all.

We ended the affair by finding some friends of ours and having dinner with them. . . one of the two being my daughter’s favorite person in the world (so much so that without any prompting from anyone, my daughter, about a year ago, declared this person her sister and defies anyone to state anything different, even if you were to say, perhaps, that there’s no way she could be her biological sister).  All in all, it was a great time, and we all got the reboot I think we needed.  Both of my children were much happier to be dropped off at school today than they have been in recent weeks, and I feel much more energized than I have been for quite some time. My wife, I believe, even appears to be walking with a bit more of a spring in her step, even if she’s looking rather exhausted from over-extending herself yesterday.

Adventures are awesome, everyone needs them. I think doing something out of the ordinary, although it can be quite a lot of work, does a ton for the brain in breaking up the monotony of daily life.  I know I’ve been needing one for a while, and although I still am not super excited about the standard return to work that is a Monday, I’m feeling much more capable of facing the day. . . all things which really just state that Spring should hurry the heck up and get here already.

Adventures, however, have something even more interesting that tend to occur. . . that is, meeting new people.  I talked to a ton of new people over the course of yesterday, most of the conversations being little more than a slight exchange of words.  There was even one proud father moment where I saw a family escaping a store with their rowdy crying children who then pointed at me, holding hands with my two rather quiet and smiling children, and saying “Why can’t you be good like those kids are.  Look at them!”  Seriously. . . proud of my kids for just being awesome. They know when to get rowdy, and they know when to chill out (most of the time).  Of course, the lollipops they were currently devouring probably helped a lot in keeping their attentions contained.

However, there was one interaction that stuck most with me, and that was with a 10-year old girl as me and my daughter waited in line to ride the Log Chute.  She was in line by herself (that alone seeming kind of odd) and was very eager to talk with us (someone really needs to teach this kid about stranger danger, especially when hanging out at indoor theme parks by herself). Just in these few pieces of information I gleaned from the start, I began gathering a lot of assumptions about the type of kid she was, and the type of household she lived in. . .

Then she hit me with the whopper.  Right before getting on the ride, we were talking about siblings, as she was interested in learning about my daughter’s brother.  I asked her about her siblings, in which she listed off the 4 different family members she called brothers and sisters, and then told me that her older sister was 8 days older than her.  My mind instantly went to adoption, although seeming odd with the assumptions I had previously made about her family.  She corrected me. . . half-sister.

Mind blown.  I mean, there’s very few options available in this situation for how she could have a half-sister 8 days older than her. . . and from my knowledge, the old-school Mormon population in Minnesota is pretty darn small.  But for her, at ten, to not only be aware of this other sibling, but also to consider her openly as her sister. . . I seriously needed to talk to this girl more.

I’m not doing any judging here, because I don’t have the facts.  I mean, the father in this situation obviously has something fishy going on (at the very least), but I don’t know his life.  However, this girl is the type of person I get excited to meet (not that way, pervs).  At ten years old, she’s already got an incredibly intriguing back story that any author would love to be able to craft.  I need to know the details and figure out what’s going to happen in her life, considering how she’s been prepared for it so far.

Her story isn’t unique, I’m sure, but it’s interesting all the same. . . and one that I unfortunately couldn’t get all the details of in the manner of 5 minutes while waiting in line.  Heck, for all I know, she could have been making it up, similar to how my daughter claims that a woman only 2 years younger than me is her sister (a few years older than her mother as well).

It all adds to the intrigue.

This is the kind of stuff I love about adventures, getting to see new people and trying to figure out what all makes them tick.  I know it’s part of the writer in me to want to craft these back stories for people who I only see for the briefest of moments.  Interestingly enough. . . the best one’s I’ve met, generally occur while waiting in line for a ride.

Anyways, the adventure was great, and I now have the very basic idea brewing for a new character that I’ll need to place somewhere.  She won’t fit in any current book I’m working on, but there may be one or two down the line in the queue that are looking for a young girl with such an interesting back story (as the one I’ve created, seeing as all I really know about this little girl is that she has a half-sister 8 days older than herself. . . and she could very well be making that up).

Alright, I’ve got some work to get to. . . I’m ready to get back to writing THE RISE OF THE FAT MOGUL.  I’ve been feeling quite poorly about my lack of attention to that for the past couple weeks and have so many ideas about where it’s going as well.

Have a good one!

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