"Mom, I'm thinking about maybe minoring in journalism," Daniel, my soon-to-be cinema major at the University of Iowa, casually shouted up the basement stairs.
"REALLY????????" I yelled back, in one of those high-pitched, gleeful-Mom squeals that Daniel probably hasn't heard from me since he mastered the potty chair. "OH, MY GOD, DANNY BOY! THAT IS A GREAT IDEA!!!!"
"I said, 'MAYBE', Mom," Daniel immediately countered, his voice laden with that that semi-aggravated oh-man-I-never-should-have-said-anything-my-mother exhausts-me teenager tone that I have come to, uh, love.
So I immediately tried to hide my over-the-top exuberance at the mere thought of my son following, to some degree, in his old ma-the-former-news hound's career tracks.
"Well, Darling, I think that would be a very practical choice for a minor, something, you know, to parlay into a day job as you forge ahead toward film school," I replied, ever so nonchalantly, as I calmly went back to dining on the delicious shrimp alfredo John had prepared for supper.
And I left it at that.
But inside I was giddy! Euphoric! Like a kid at Christmas!
I mean, the kid loves to write, is a good writer, and most importantly, journalism is a fun, exciting, career path. OK, so who knew back in 1978 that newspapers would slowly go the way of dinosaurs?
(Just for the record, my degree from Ohio University is in magazine journalism, though, ironically, save for my required internship at Athens Magazine back in my college days, I have never written for a magazine.)
The truth is, I made a damn good -- OK, make that darn good -- living for a couple of decades reporting the news for a variety of papers. Even won some awards. And, to top it off, I even had my own weekly for a couple of years (a moment of silence, please, for The West Central Valley Voice, the little weekly that could, and DID).
Of course, studying "journalism" means more than possibly becoming a newspaper reporter someday.
Nevertheless, for just a moment, I imagined Daniel, hammering out a breaking news story for The Daily Iowan, anxiously muttering, "Can't pray now. Deadline."
I gotta say that there is absolutely nothing like the intense rush of breaking a news story on deadline...nothing. Well, maybe there are a few other times in life that compare -- like, say, a lengthy, painful childbirth. I've experienced both. Each involves hours of hard work, sweat, and tears. Each a life-changing labor of love.
Speaking of deadlines, I gotta go. To my day job, as it were.
'Tis the end of today's blog post.
Or, as we used to type back in the good old -- and I mean, really old -- news days...