Nostalgia Trip

Dear J-

I’m just … I’m a bit overwhelmed by the thought of the next few weeks. theVet has a conference in San Francisco, which means I’ll be the adult in charge of the household. That’s scary. My brother and nephew and niece are coming from overseas, and I will spend time with them, probably with the kids in tow too and possibly as the solo adult in charge of those two, which is also intimidating. They haven’t been so bad the past few days but figgy has had a cough that keeps her awake and tired the rest of the day; I don’t think I want to contemplate what that’s doing to her learning. Head in the sand, willfully. Respond to external stimulus and stress by punting. Now that’s a mature example to set.

Have your self a merry little holiday; let your will be grand. I’ve always been frightened of X or Y but haven’t ever stopped to think about the consequences of that fright. So what? If that happens, what’s the worst thtat follows? I’m pretty good at that game, which appears to culminate in global thermonuclear war (that was the old reliable joke in debate: you’d write your disadvantage so the worst possible outcome would apply, regardless of actual odds). For instance, I take my kids on vacation … they get lost … and end up working for the North Koreans or some unstable regime … and supply the trigger for some diplomatic incident both ridiculous and trumped-up but consequential enough to lead to global meltdown. See how easy that is?

Seriously, though: they’re not going to get lost. They may be bored. They may embarrass me (this is harder than it looks, to be honest). We’ll have to take breaks on the drives, which is all right. I’m trying to think of the road trips we’ve taken and what we did in an era before videogames: there were cards, I think, and scenery; books too until you got so sick you had to put your head down and sleep for a few moments which magically turned into miles. There was the wind whipping past as we put the right pedal down and made the needle lean a bit more to the right. We found our way there through maps and road signs, circling back without recrimination, no GPS to inform our moves like we were locals. Was that really the good old days or am I just deluding myself?

Mike

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