One of my goals this year is to take a trip with each of my children to just spend some one on one time with them. We happened to have a rental car this week since our van was in the shop getting repaired from a minor fender bender, so I decided to grab Spielberg and go on a photo trip. I didn't take a picture the entire time, and I didn't mind at all. It was fun to see his mind work.
Mom, I see everything in pictures, in framed shots. My mind is always composing the next photo.
The first night we headed to downtown Salt Lake. Tripod and camera in hand, we hopped on the Trax and off we went. Just for frame of reference, he snapped over 1000 photos on the entire trip so you are only seeing a small sampling.
We met an interesting couple on the Trax. Ramon, as the name tag on his greasy mechanic coveralls identified him, and his girlfriend/wife were dressed ala (modern) Rockabilly style - he with a slicked back pompadour, she with two-toned hair (hot pink and black-as-night) styled in a Rosie the Riveter bandanna 'do and cheek piercings (ouch), both of them wore gauges in their ears. It was standing room only on the train and after a few stops Ramon looks up at my son and jokes about him taking his picture (oh, how I wish he had), I was standing behind Spielberg and said, "You totally should," and then I laughed. This pretty much mortified my son (which means I must be doing my job right).
Ramon piped up, "Have you ever seen Weeds?"
Me: "No but I've heard of it. Isn't that on HBO?"
Ramon: "Showtime. You look just like the lead actress. People think she is this naive housewife, but inside she is this rebellious lady who gets away with all kinds of stuff. She's brilliant."
Me: "Doesn't she sell MJ to make ends meet?"
Ramon, "Yes. She's like our hero." He uses big hand gestures, funny.
I laugh, "I can give you my autograph if you like."
Ramon: "You even have her smile and laugh."
Me, as the train pulls into our stop: "I'll have to look her up, then."
Ramon and girlfriend in unison, looking first at my son and then to me: "It's not a show for kids. No, definitely not for kids."
I tweeted something about how I just got told that I looked like the lead actress on Weeds and I wasn't sure how I should take it. I didn't even know who the actress was. Within a few minutes, I get a handful of responses that I should take it as compliment because she's "hot". (btw, I do not recommend googling the terms "weeds" and "lead actress" with children present - I waited until my son was sleeping that night).
My son said to me, "What a strange family. I mean they tell you that you look like some lady on TV who sells drugs, is that supposed to be a compliment?"
I told him, "They were nice people."
Spielberg looked at me like I am crazy, "Mom, they had gauges and the girl had cheek piercings."
I remind him that those are just expressions of individuality, and that good people come in different packages.
"But mom, do you think he was high or drinking? Who tells a stranger that she looks like someone who sells drugs?"
I just laughed it off. We walked all over downtown for what felt like a few miles in the freezing temperatures, snapping pictures. Once, he tried to capture the full height of a darkened mirrored building, but could not get enough light into the frame. Passersby would stop, look up and try to determine what was so interesting up there, what were they missing? I found it comical. How many of us remember to look up once in awhile and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings?
We hopped back on the train, getting off near the restaurants. I spied a $20 bill on the ground and pointed it out to Spielberg. He picked it up. I told him, "I should make you give it to a homeless person. That's not really yours."
Later, over dinner he commented that he wonders about people on the train, what their stories are, like the homeless guy who was sitting across from that strange family. He took a bite of pizza, "I mean, how did he get to be homeless? Did he used to have a job? Did he do drugs, go crazy? Did he grow up that way? How did it happen? Where does he go at night? Does he try to find a warm building, or just sleep on the bus stop benches?"
Don't try to tell me that teenagers only ever think about themselves.