A Trip Through The Minefield

 I lost my parents over twenty years ago. I’ve been alive longer without them than with them, and I’m not an old guy. So yes, from time to time my thoughts wander across the minefield as I wonder things like "how would Mom feel about this?" or "I bet Dad would have figured this out by now."

Unlike a real minefield this is one you can build up a resistance to. What used to blow off a leg now just means I need to brush my pants clean. The metaphor fails in extended application.

Today I’m positively giddy with excitement. A new (but very good) friend and consummate professional is joining me and some of my other consummately professional friends (also very good) for two days of recording sessions. I sprang awake at 5:15am with the sort of enthusiasm I usually reserve for Christmas.

And I wondered, casting my mind back to my early years "when Dad was 43, was he ever giddy with Christmas-morning-esque enthusiasm?" 

[CHING-KLICK] goes the pressure plate to the mine I’ve just stepped on.
"No," I say to myself in irritation. "This isn’t ‘I miss Dad,’ this is a serious question. Do you ever remember him being giddy?"
I ponder the matter, poring through the jumbled mess of poorly indexed memories from twenty-five, thirty, and thirty-five years ago.
"No," I reply. "I don’t."
Did it explode because I can’t remember something I should, or because I wish my Dad had been a happier person? Regardless, I’m going to need to change these pants.

6 thoughts on “A Trip Through The Minefield”

  1. As someone who lost her just turned 40 father at the age of 14, I understand what you mean exactly. There’s plenty of minefields you don’t realize are there until you trigger the pressure plate or even until the mine explodes. You have my sympathy.

  2. I think we all do that. I lost my father when I was 15, and I find myself walking in that minefield all to often. I know what you’re going through, my friend.

  3. Oh dear, I’m afraid my children will only remember me as silly.

    Locus’ comment system lost my post twice, so here goes again. Good job, Sandra, on your Locus article.

    Jane Yolen comes to mind first – she’s still writing juveniles, and I think some of her books would fit your bill… Commander Toad was a part of a baby shower gift my first child got from Howard DeVore’s wonderful daughters – a bookshelf and a pile of books.

    The top shelf has a bunch of books pulled from my shelves that I consider appropriate by the time my son is interested in them… lots of Pratchett juveniles, and older stuff, Narnia, Sword in the Stone… I was just thinking I should move one of my copies of Screwtape Letters in there.

    Is your concern that modern juvenile SF is too dark? I know one former SF writer who does mostly juveniles nowadays… but they have no SF elements at all that I can think of. Of course, her SF was incredibly dark… have you met Kathe Koja? We should all sit down and have this conversation in person the next time you’re in Detroit.

    Perhaps the English-speaking SF field just can’t imagine a future with moon colonies anymore. I wonder what Chinese SF is like?

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