You know how they say that life imitates art? Sometimes that’s true, and when you’re writing about a bunch of kids marooned lord-only-knows-where and being chased by killer robots, it’s the last thing that you want. Luckily, I didn’t encounter any killer robots while writing this story. I did, however, manage to get a concussion while playing a game of tag with my kids. I tagged the concrete with my skull. Attention, readers: I do not advise this.
The injury was fairly severe. One night, I got lost in my bathroom and couldn’t figure out how to open the door. I had a hard time focusing, and I was dizzy all the time. When my edits were due, I still wasn’t able to drive or lean over without falling down. But there I was, determined to finish all the things despite my uncooperative noggin. And writing about Cole, who was determined to be useful despite his semi-uncooperative leg and the coddling of the rest of the group.
On the surface, I don’t have much in common with Cole. He’s a country boy; I’m a middle-aged suburban woman. He finds pleasure in physical labor and drinking beer with his buddies. I spend most of my time typing on a laptop or curled up with a good book. We don’t see the world the same way, that’s for sure. But we both have this drive to succeed. Having kids lit a fire under us both. Cole wants to be the kind of man his son can look up to, and it pushes him to work harder, to find a way, to make a difference. Even when he’s healing from a fairly serious injury.
I get that. After my concussion, I went to every soccer game and school event, even when my head felt like it might just roll off my shoulders. I helped with homework. I wrote ReMade. And I did it for a lot of the same reasons I think Cole perseveres. He wants his son to see him as worthy. Perhaps more importantly, he wants to see himself as worthy of being Colton’s dad. That alone helps me to love Cole and to understand where he’s coming from despite our differences. Cole’s story is heartbreaking because he’s lost the very thing that made him want to be a better man.
Writing this episode has made me realize for the umpteenth time how lucky I am to have my kids. They make me want to be a better woman, although I don’t advise playing tag with them. It’s like playing tag with caretakers. Which should really be in a future episode, don’t you think?