Last week was my kids’ spring break, so we hopped in the car and drove to Utah, staying two nights in Bryce Canyon and two at Zion National Park. My kids are teenagers in the 21stcentury, so by nature sedentary and attached to their computers and cell phones as if to IVs. They are also my kids and Rob’s, so they have the added bonus of being bookish, imaginative, and mildly introverted (I totally was an introverted kid—I think I’ve grown up to be an ambivert, but I still LOVE my downtime, for anyone snickering), so they resist long adventures and would naturally choose to stay home and “chill” for spring break. Unfortunately, for their short-term goals, I think it’s important to a) unplug, b) explore the natural world, and c) encounter and begin to understand the rest of the world. Poor kiddos.
I had a momentary affinity with those Navajo all those years ago, who looked and saw stories. I wasn’t expecting that. Beauty, yes. Nature, yes. Geology, yes. But not kinship. That’s another reason to keep waking the kids up and shoving them in the car and dragging them out in to the beautiful world.
The upshot is the same, though, in all of these versions. If you’re kind and humble, you’ll be rewarded by a step up socially and a happy marriage. Those who try to trick or wheedle their way in to riches will not win. Nice gals (and guys) do. Maybe that’s why we keep rewriting Cinderella. We really want that to be true.
Gaiman has a diverse audience, from tweed jackets to tattoos and cargo shorts, and we fit in just fine: another family raising readers, happy to listen in real time to a great story.