Our day is a blank page and we have not filled it, it remains as white as the moment it arrived with the sunrise. There is nothing on the schedule, there are no activities planned, there is not a place to be or a thing to do. Nothing. That is what we are doing today. Nothing.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk. I'm bored.
School starts tomorrow for the Hossman Family. We have seized the summer, we have conquered it, made it quiver as we rode through it. We have seen the country, we have taken the road less traveled, we have explored. From the first of June until this week, we were nonstop. We seized the day and throttled it. Now we sit here, my two children and I, and we have nothing.
"Daddy!" they scream in unison. "What adventure are we doing today?!" they ask.
Nothing I tell them, absolutely nothing.
They are confused and I don't blame them.
I am sure that nothing sounds pretty great to many of you out there. That you would love to do nothing, to sit at home and contemplate nothing, to have nothing as your greatest goal and achievement.
Try it for a week. It blows. Nothing is not fun, it is not exciting and pretty soon nothing rots your brain. I have been there, I have taken that train ride. Eventually, nothing turns your mind into nothing.
We saw a big ball of twine and gave a back country boy a hug. We saw a missile silo. We have gone camping, swam in lakes and seen a dead body. We have wandered through museums, we have gone fishing, we have danced with worms. We have held guns, we have yelled in nature, we have drawn pictures. We have seen the sun come up and light the clouds with pink splashes, we have seen the sun come down and mark still waters with yellow tint. We have done all of this in the short summer that we had. Now, now it's time for school and the day before school is rest, preparation, contemplation. And nothing. A whole lot of nothing.
It turns out that I don't do nothing well. And neither do my children, which doesn't surprise me. In the absence of the challenge of a giant water slide to conquer or a sun burn to make, nothing does not seem to entertain my children. And on days like this, when nothing is the only thing on the family calendar that hangs on the fridge, I am reminded of why we don't do nothing very often. Because my kids, and probably most kids, decide nothing is not very fun. So they take nothing, stare it down, and turn it into something.
And that something usually involves destruction or me getting kneecapped. Something is always better than nothing. Nothing means sitting in a chair all day or when that tires us out, laying on the floor with the dogs. Nothing means that there is a place out there that isn't being appreciated or a drywall that isn't getting holes in it. And that, my friends, we just can't have. That is what my children's philosophy is. If nothing is the challenge, they will rise to it and decide to make it something and that something usually comes with me having to fix it with tools and money.
Halfway into our nothing day I am called upstairs, the kids left me on the chair to go create something from nothing. I decided that I need to walk before my legs cramp up from sitting to long. And it's been too quite, a sure sign that nothing is getting the shit beat out of it. I walk into my son's room. He and his sister are in giggles, they are almost crying with laughter. I do a quick inventory of the room. Everything seems to be in place. I don't see anything broken, smashed or on fire. I count our animals: 1 skinny dog, 1 fat dog, 1 cat, and the memory of another cat from long ago. Check, we seem to be fine. But I am mistaken. Because I have allowed nothing to cloud my mind, weaken my reasoning, and forget who my children are.
They point to the ceiling. I look up.
It appears that we are no longer doing nothing. Today we are doing something.