Reflection on Summer 2016

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I can’t believe this summer is over, I know that the season isn’t officially over until September 22, but usually once August is over and Labor Day hits (school starts) its the end of the summer. I mean, Dunkin Donuts has Pumpkin Coffee again, come on! I’ve often stated that Summer is my favorite season of the year, always has been; but this summer was quite different. And by different I don’t mean a bad way, I just mean different.

As I said in the blog post Where I Am that I posted on July 30, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently, this entire posting will be filled with me working around saying things without coming out and saying them directly. Hopefully I made it a point to detail things enough that you understand what I am saying so that you are not that confused. The time I’ve had this summer has been filled up by working around the house on projects inside and out, chores among some other things.

I’ve watched Miles as well, not completely as my parents watch him while I get things done; but I feel truly grateful for getting a chance to spend some quality time with him. He has become such a remarkable and amazing little human being. He’s so smart, funny, he observes everything and he mostly surprises us all with something that we didn’t intentionally teach him but he learned through watching us. A few weeks ago after changing him, he stood up, took the diaper and walked over to the diaper genie, opened the diaper genie and placed the used diaper in it. No one, actively, showed him how to do this, he’s just a (sometimes) quiet observer.


Sometimes I disappear upstairs while Miles and my parents are down stairs, usually I put headphones on to try and focus more by keeping this White Noise generator website, SimplyNoise, on. If I listen to songs they distract me and if I listen to movie scores they can send me down a different rabbit hole of imagination. White noise is just that, noise, and it drowns everything out and lets me focus on what is important to me. Also, there are times that I don’t have my earbuds in and I can hear the fun that Miles is having downstairs.

Sometimes I hear the theme to one of the PBS Kids shows that he watches and smiles, he loves ‘Thomas and Friends’, ‘Ready Jet Go’, ‘Sesame Street’, ‘Curious George’, and most recently he has been into ‘Super Why!’ and our personal favorite ‘Odd Squad’. One show in particular that I tolerate but I think he loves the music is ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’. The end music is soft, sweet and in my opinion emotional; dare I say I get teary every now and then when I hear it. Excuse me for a moment while I put some rock music on to get the song out of my head.

I have also been speaking to someone about myself, read between the lines about that one, and it was a quick discovery that I have a huge imagination. That’s no surprise to me since I consider myself a writer and have been called creative. But, a lot of times I go into a daydream at any point in time, based on my interest in what is in front of me. I’ve spent the better part of the summer trying to focus and keeping any and all daydreams at bay. While it has become easier over the last few weeks, it is by no means gone. The best way I can explain this is a lion tamer in a circus surrounded by lions as they all try to attack him…we can also get more relevant and its like in ‘The Walking Dead’ when any members of the main group are surrounded by a hoard of walkers (zombies for you lay people) and they have to fend them off. That’s what it can be like.

Again, this is not easy, but it has gotten easier. (If that makes sense)

I found, in some odd way, that the higher intake of caffeine that I have the more I can focus. One day a few weeks ago I was feeling sluggish, went out and bought a Red Bull, chugged it and then spent the rest of my day with blinders on to everything and worked (I think I was cleaning the house that day). To say it felt like I was gliding from one thing to the next, sort of like a dance, like ballet, would be an understatement. I got my shit done. And this reminded me of a few years ago when I was working with this company where the majority of us would go out mid-day and get a different energy drink, after drinking the energy drink we would all not talk to each other for the rest of the day and simply worked. We got what we needed to done. Essentially, Red Bull gave me wings. So, that’s what I’ve been doing, either coffee or energy drinks. When I need to focus in the mornings I drink a lot of coffee, if I need to focus more I drink even more of whatever.

With the need to stay more focused I’ve actually put my creative writing in the back burner for now. Mostly for fear that I’ll slip back down into my imagination. The majority of any writing I have done has been either the Where I Am post from a month ago and a review of Suicide Squad and some minor little movie rumor updates here and there. No real imagination needed and in some way therapeutic to be able to get words down on paper. I started hot and heavy a few months ago wanting to do more writing, speaking to friends about projects and then I slowly let my focus settle in. I wrote about the BlueCat Goalpost contest that was going on through August. GoalPost was a month long free contest where screenwriters would be able to spend time every day writing a screenplay with the ultimate goal of not only writing 3 pages a day but having written an entire screenplay by the end of the month. While I was trying to keep myself focused throughout the day I wasn’t able to put any thought into what I had wanted to write and when I sat down to write at night I fell pretty flat pretty fast and gave up. It was around this point that I decided it wasn’t the right time to be creative and to stay more focused.

I am in no way done with writing. I can’t be. It is who I am. I have always considered myself a writer. Hell, even Melissa called me a screenwriter for the first time a few months ago. But I need to get some things done around the house, life, everything. So to my friends, don’t give up on me, I’ll be back. I just need to figure myself out and I promise I’ll be back.

Up until this week, keeping that need to write was easy, I just kept ignoring it and putting it off. But this week that aspect of my mind has been quietly screaming to get out. Thinking about scenes in a screenplay I have been writing for over two years, the need to rewrite it to make it a stronger piece, tweaking character names. Just writing those examples down makes me twitch. I am keeping it at bay, hoping that writing this post keeps it happy for a little bit.

Melissa has been a true champion through all of this. Though dealing with her own stresses at work she has been helpful and driven to succeed at the projects that she has at work. Just the other day I saw not only a video she worked on but something she designed that was printed and made. I’m so happy for her and for everything she has. We are truly fortunate that we have all that we have, Miles, the furbabies, the house, cars, family and friends.

A few weeks ago, Melissa and I were playing with Miles early one morning and he went over to hug me or rather bury his face in my armpit. Melissa smiled and said “he loves you”. I had been struggling with the fact that it felt Miles favored me, so I shrugged it off. But she frowned and said “you are his buddy”. I looked at him and he looked at me with loving eyes and I something settled in right then. We play, have fun, spend time together; I am his buddy. He has fun with everyone, but he and I share a special bound as father and son. I took it upon myself from then on really be “his buddy”. We have fun together, we goof off, we watch shows and play together. I started making Fridays “Daddy Day”. My goal has always been to be a great dad and I feel like I have become a much better father the last few months with my little buddy than I thought I ever would. There is more of an understanding of what he needs, what he wants; its really amazing how expressive a 14 month old (going on 15 month) can be!

While the situation for having the extra time is rough and drags everyone down I am happy to be able to spend this time with Miles. And to everyone who has had the patients with me during this time I thank them.

This summer has not been a typical summer. I feel like this summer went by so fast that I almost didn’t get a chance to truly enjoy the hot weather or anything that makes summer a summer. But that is such a selfish way to look at it, its no longer about myself. I’ve had more fun and laughs with Miles than I think I’ve had in a very long time. He has become my world as he has become our world. Things feel more complete with him and it is surprising how empty things feel when he isn’t with us. He has brought so much love and joy to everyone he is around and it makes me smile just thinking about that.

So, this was not been a typical summer…it was a great summer.

As I say goodbye to the Summer of 2016, I look forward to this up coming Fall. Seeing the Fall through a 1 year old’s eyes, enjoying time with Melissa as we head closer to our 9-year wedding anniversary and hopefully, soon, I’ll get lucky and I won’t have as much time on my hands as I had this summer. There were times when I wasn’t feeling as positive as I probably should have felt but even in writing this I realize how much I have to be grateful for and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So, as pumpkin flavor becomes the norm, the color of the leaves change and we head towards winter (still my least favorite season of all, no change in that) I feel more optimistic in the changes that I found in myself over this summer, to the experiences I have had with Miles and to always seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 2016 isn’t done yet, not by a long shot and through everything this has still been a great year.

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