One of my favorite "Everybody Loves Raymond" episodes is the the very first one in which Ray's dad, Frank, takes a big, deep sniff of the tops of the twin baby boys' heads and declares, "I'm sucking in that youth!"
I used to do that with Daniel when he was maybe a year old, just inhale his indescribably invigorating baby hair smell, the fresh fragrance of all that was still young, sweet, innocent and right with the world. Then I'd exhale, slowly. Such a comforting, happy rush of emotions.
Nothing like it.
Except, maybe, watching Daniel prepare to direct his small but dedicated band of buddies in the upcoming Kulty International Films action flick, "The Arkady File" this past weekend. It evoked such warm thoughts and feelings.
Brought back poignant memories of Daniel and Casey -- the original cinematic dream team -- and their non-stop military movie magic they would spin regularly, beginning in our living room and then spreading to various locations and "sets" around town.
Never thought I'd say it, but oh, how I've missed the grenades, guns, soldier uniforms and other assorted action flick props strewn about the couch and living room floor!
There hasn't been this much excitement around here since "The Game" -- Daniel's heart-wrenching documentary about Casey and the Coon Rapids-Bayard Crusaders Football Team -- hit YouTube last March.
How sweet the familiar sound of footsteps running up the porch steps and through the front door as Kulty's trusty film crew/cast -- Fuzzy, Little Z, Gager, Mr. Miller, and young Sam -- congregated and begin donning their assigned garb! Lots of laughter, energy and, as always, Casey's still tangible and true "Let's do this!" spirit.
It has been so quiet, too quiet, since Daniel left for college last fall. With Daniel home for the summer, the house is awake once more.
My beloved KIF film crew bounding about offered such a welcome shot of adrenaline.
I just stood to the side, watching and smiling. Breathing it all in. Ah! Youth! To see Daniel once more in his element, in his role as film director...his passion for telling a story ready to burst forth...
Inhale. Exhale, slowly. Such a comforting, happy, and yes, bittersweet, rush of emotions.
Amazing thing about Kulty International Films -- it was not the first time that the movie script wasn't on paper but brewing about in Daniel's head and heart. It would be an afternoon of unending improv, the boys' trademark talent sharpened during Large Group Speech contests in high school. Plus, all the new "bad ass" camera and other equipment Daniel recently purchased guaranteed a great shoot.
That $200 video cam we hesitantly bought Daniel for Christmas when he was in sixth grade, fearing we might be indulging the kid? Best investment we ever made.
Yeah, the house will once more seem too quiet when ol' Kulty heads back to college in the fall in his continuing pursuit of his BA in Cinema and his dream of going on to film/grad school.
But until then?
Hooray for Hollywood!
And welcome home, if only for the summer, Kulty International Films!