But I got my extra day off. Without that day of vacation, I would have whispered "happy birthday" to Dylan as he slept in the wee hours of the morning, before walking out the door to catch a 6 a.m. flight. Instead, I got to spend my son's birthday with him and his friends at Waterworks Park. It was great fun for the kids and the adults. The smoke from the fires had been oppressive for days prior to The Day, but a southerly wind sprang up the night before and gave us the gift of clear skies for the party. Dylan had a blast, and he's outgrown that tendency to say "I didn't have a good time" at the end of a really good time. He's learning that endings can mean celebrating instead of mourning.
Actually, he started doing that two years ago, on his sixth birthday. Wow, have two years really gone by since that one?
I flew out the next morning on the commuter flight to San Francisco. I felt really happy, and really thankful. I got to be home for my son's birthday.
There are a lot of people out there with real writing talent who would love to have the time to write that I had during those thirteen days. I feel guilty. I feel like I wasted an opportunity. I feel like a lazy slug.
I've often wondered about the mystery of what provides the creative spark to sit down and spew out words on the keyboard. Maybe I let that mystery hold sway too much. I've never been so good at kicking myself in the ass. Maybe the real mystery is in learning how to be better about kicking myself in the ass.