Saturday, October 3, 2015

What's Important To Me

My apologies for being late posting my blog this time around. Yet my very lateness ties so strongly into the current topic.
It’s been a pretty full-on week here in the Rowe household. It was the second week of September school holidays, which automatically makes it pretty loud and busy. I work from home, my wife is a teacher and both my sons are at school. So holiday time means we’re all bound together as though we have an elastic band around us.
More on all of that in a moment…
For me, as an author and cover artist (and when applicable, a musician), what’s important to me is to produce the best work I can and be as versatile as possible. Those elements are not always interchangeable, since we each have strengths and weaknesses. And as anyone in a creative field will know, external forces can play an enormous part in our ability to create.
This brings me back around to the earlier discussion about what truly is important [WARNING, WARNING…cliché alert!].
In the last week, my wife had to go in for an operation. It wasn’t enormous, but it had her worried for a few days beforehand, and understandably, out of action for a few days afterwards. Long term, it will yield an excellent result, but of course, in the short term, these things have quite an impact on a family.
The last week also yielded another important milestone. My 12-year-old son (let’s just call him Monkey Buttocks, since that’s what I call him), had his first date. We realise it’s a young age for that kind of thing, but I was truly impressed. He doesn’t even organise to get together with his mates, so for him to organise a get-together with a girl he really likes is almost incredible to me. Also, given he’s as shy as I am (when not behind a keyboard), it’s an even bigger deal.
The final factor in making my blog late was the fact we attended the Monster Jam event here in Brisbane last night. That was around the time I should have been posting this blog.
Now, I’m not a rev-head at all. I don’t enjoy car racing of any kind really. The Monster Jam events seem, to me, to be the motor racing equivalent of the WWE. And I do not mean that in any kind of disparaging way. It’s a slick and well-marketed event, with drivers of great skill and insane bravery. It’s just highly contrived (and LOUD!)
So why were we there? Well, our elder son (Tall Man or Mister Special) is intellectually-impaired, to the point he’ll never be an independent dude. He’s in his second-last year of school now, and Variety offered his school some free tickets. Now, Tall Man is utterly besotted by cars. Every time we go for a drive he’s constantly prattling in the back seat, telling us what make of car it is, and whether it’s going to work or home. Going for a drive (heck, walking through a car park!) would actually be the perfect entertainment for him. His teachers even use “looking at the road running past the school time” as a motivational tool to keep him on track!
So when the offer came through for Monster Jam tickets, we jumped on board. The show was spectacular, but the best part of the evening was watching Tall Man’s face, and how he loved it.

I’m now even further behind in my work because of all those factors. And I wouldn’t change any of it. If I lose some cover art clients I’ll be unhappy, of course. But it would still pale in comparison to losing those family moments. Because as with nearly everyone, that is what is most important to me.


  1. Great post, Willsin.

    How did Monkey Buttocks' date work out? ;^)

    Sounds like there's a lot of love circulating in that family of yours.

  2. Tall Man's interest in cars reminds me of an intellectually impaired fellow who comes into the antique store. He knows not only the make and model of all little toy cars represented (most notably the "Matchbox" series) but the toy company's model number as well. His sister says it's a wonderful thing for him to know he's an expert on something.

  3. Family first right enough! Fascinating how someone can get so worked up about cars. My hubby is like that. For me if it starts and gets me to my destination I'm happy. It's a car!

  4. Family first means not complaining (too much) when I have to work multiple jobs to help with the bills because, after all, part of our mountain of debt comes from helping the kids with college, and the rest from just living in a family of 6. Plus I want to celebrate lots more anniversaries with the husband, so I don't want him to be crushed under our bills. So I do what I can. Unfortunately, that has meant lately that I'm almost never home, and have zero time to write...or even to keep up with my favorite this one! That's why I'm posting a few days late.

    But we did have a son get married, and I took time off from all of my jobs for that one! They planned one hell of a party! A good time was had by all. And they managed to get back from the Bahamas before the hurricane hit. Phew!

  5. Kid's obsessions with certain things can make it easy to plan vacation trips. I remember when mine were young (although ten years apart) and every road trip had to include tours through caves (for the older one) and rides on old trains revived for tourism (for the younger one.)

  6. Late posts happen (and late comments)! :) I'm moved by the affection in your adorable nicknames for your sons, as well as the specificity of the stories you tell about them here. I'm glad you went to the Monster Jam—it sounds awesome!

  7. I remember a child-driven life -- it actually wasn't bad! The poignant thing about childhood, of course, is that it doesn't last. It's heartening to read about parents who focus on their children in the moment, because present adventures make great memories.


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