As I'm writing this, I'm on a train going from Los Angeles to Tucson after a quick weekend trip to take in all the comics and pop culture craziness called WonderCon (ComicCon's Hollywood cousin).
My son is fast asleep next to me in the coach seat we reserved for the ride home. I'm absolutely exhausted and a bit frantic thinking about the work that remains to put three newspapers out on Monday. However, I am also grateful. I remember as a young working mother that I quickly realized the importance of vacations helping us reconnect with family.
Times change, and for the past few years my son and I haven't been able to take as many trips together as I'd like. This was an exception that could only happen because other newspaper staff helped me out, allowing me to have a day on Friday to explore the city of Los Angeles with my son, as well as two full days of cosplay and comic panels. It's not entirely my thing, but it's my kid's love—everything Marvel related and more.
For me it was a bit of memory lane—visiting places that were part of my past when I lived in this giant sprawling city after graduating from college. We spent this amazing Friday morning walking from one end of downtown to another just to eat at this 24-hour greasy spoon that's an old family favorite. We took a bus up Wilshire Boulevard so I could show my son the office where I worked in the middle of the legendary Rampart District—at the time it had the highest murder rate in the city. We walked from the La Brea Tar Pits to the Fairfax District so we could enjoy the food at our beloved Cantor's and talk about Uncle Jack and other family who are long gone. On the crowded LA bus, I thought I'd hear complaints. It wasn't comfortable. Instead, I heard from him how much he loved the energy of the city and how much he loved the diversity we kept seeing over and over and over again.
That's it, right there. Cheers to next year and those needed trips, and reminding ourselves that it's never too late to connect with your kids no matter how exhausting.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org