Two Minutes

Dear J-

Today is a tale of two moments. There are many candidates for defining times or characteristics, from the heat and light of the afternoon contrasted to the chill dark evening that reminds us that winter still has some tricks up its sleeve. There are boys and girls two of each in our family. There is time spent and time wasted, there is money left untouched and spent on entertainment, there are teams I root for and those I root against. But today hinges on two moments and I hope you’ll indulge me.

The first came at Sea World. With a sleepy and increasingly cantankerous figgy in tow after lunch I wanted to hit one last exhibit — the sharks, where you walk through the tops of tanks until you hit the basement and then go through clear tunnels and the sharks glider by overhead. I hadn’t been by in a while and I also had packed photographically light, just a wide angle lens that would have translated the tunnels into a striking place. Since figgy had already decided to go we complied instead and I’ll see the sharks again later. You say that we’ve capitulated to a three year old and I say we’re finally making a push.

The second moment came as I was reading books to her. As she always does, other pursuits kept her interested and me occupied as the myth of the family spending quiet book sharing moments together will fracture irreparably. But I figure that enough is enough and want nothing more than to be discharged of sleep patrol. With every minute bringing fresh distractions I snap and books go flying as I storm out, having only gotten ten pages or so into the story. I don’t go back until she’s very nearly asleep but she whispers softly to me, eyes closed, “Sorry you got mad.”

If you read about new year resolutions and procrastinators you know that it comes down to just doing it, not talking about intending to start. Public resolutions are the worst because you keep them up in an attempt to avoid shame. Today is a story of two moments, and lessons learned as who I want to be wars with who I am.



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