The mind of a writer is curious, eccentric, often harried place. It's half isolated badlands and half ticker-tape parade comprised of a 10,000-person Blue Man Group marching band blasting their way through New York Times at midnight on New Year's Eve.
What I mean to say is that, some mornings when you sit down at the computer, the idea pool in the old noggin is as barren as a lone pebble in the Sahara - other days, it's a veritable ocean up there - as hustle-bustle as a Lady Gaga concert in the middle of the French Quarter on Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday, you know?
And so, for those of us lucky enough to be blessed with weekly columns; our good fortune is also quite regularly the source of much angst. "What to write about this Sunday?" is something those in my life often overhear me pondering aloud - probably with a twinge of panic in their ears, methinks, as they mentally replay anything remotely funny, inspirational or significant that they've commented to me - in fear of reading about it in this space.
This week's potential random ramblings ranged from scary to silly to sweet in subject matter.
1. Scary: At Kyle's swim meet in Hubbard last weekend, he slightly miscalculated strokes and nearly careened into the wall on his flip turn, stopping Mom's heart as he did so. Possible column No. 1: At what age does Mommy stop worrying? Um, 12th of Never, clearly.
2. Silly: Not sure if the mild winter's got more skunks on the move than are typically so this time of year, but for some reason I've driven past about 23,482 on the way to and from work in the past several weeks. So the question truly became: why does free skunk stench linger so far and wide when $85 dollar-an-ounce perfume evaporates just as it touches your wrist? Possible column No. 2: Odd olfactory disparities of the universe.
3. Sweet: After my girlfriend Jess (who's expecting her second baby this summer) told me how her 3-year-old son Owen asked to see the baby in her belly the other day, I thought we had a frontrunner. When she explained that you can't really see the baby yet, little Owen locked his eye into her tummy and exclaimed, "I see it!" He declined to comment on the baby's sex, BTW. Possible column No. 3: Adorableness out of the mouths of babes.
People, there was an absolute Woodstock chaotically swirling around in the mind of Patty after that. Which topic to choose? Would Owen edge out road kill? Hmm.
That's when it happened. It came in the mail ... the invitation letter from officials at my son's school informing me of a two-day, overnight bus trip to various points of educational interest across the Buckeye state. "Teachers attending; no parent chaperones needed."
Well, winner, winner chicken dinner: No. 1, it is!
Two-days - overnight - my 12-year-old son traveling without us. Um, NO.
Holy Overprotective Mothers, Batman! Do these people not know they're dealing with the International President of Scared and Paranoid Mothers, Ohio Chapter?
Kerry offered that, when he was in third grade, he took a day trip to Washington, D.C. Kerry's going to be allowed back in the house in about two more weeks.
My very close friend Anna Marie (who lives two doors over with husband Mark and their twin son and daughter, Kyle's BFFs and schoolmates) read my mind just after scanning the invitation.
"Oh, darn. It's Britney's dance recital, and I know you don't want to miss it. Guess we'll have to send the kids off on an adventure some other time."
Yes ... some time in 2025.
Have I mentioned how much I'm going to enjoy having Anna Marie be Kyle's mother-in-law someday?
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her with stories of how you kept your kids in a bubble until they were 34 at firstname.lastname@example.org.