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Blink of an Eye

I miss writing regularly here. When I write, I feel like I can't get my thoughts together and I usually end up deleting several attempts at starting. Eventually enough time will go by that I'll be too overwhelmed to even try to write anymore, but when I think about that, I feel a sense of failure or sadness or challenge, and I force myself to post something, no matter how rambling or boring or disjointed. Part I of me thinks this is a phase of life, that in a year or two or five, I'll look up and realize I've been writing a lot more and wave to a distant memory of the days I thought I'd never write again. Part II of me thinks that's a stupid fantasy and that the reality is that a year and a half ago, even though I didn't know it then, I had more time on my hands than I'll ever have again. Part III thinks, loudly, SHUT UP I AND II, WHO HAS TIME TO THINK ABOUT THIS?

Mostly I regret the fact that I'm so pre-occupied with Small Scheme, In My Face things these days that the original motivation for keeping this blog-- chronicling our life as a family -- just isn't being addressed anymore. The Big Scheme is being thrown by the wayside as I fool myself daily into thinking today, this day, will be the last day I work late, the last day I don't see my kids because I'm gone when they wake up and gone until minutes before they go to sleep. The kids are full of life, noise, mischief - much of which doesn't even make me angry these days - I'm enjoying it for once. Maybe it's because I hardly see them anymore, maybe it's because they're genuinely playing together, with each other (!), without requiring constant intervention from us. All I know is that Sunday morning, they didn't wake us up until 8:00 because they'd been quietly and non-destructively entertaining themselves for more than 20 seconds. Granted, the way they woke us up was disturbing on some levels: we heard the doorbell ring and bolted out of bed to find them at the front door, in plucked two-year-old Oktoberfest feather masks. "Would you like to buy a game? We're not your kids," they said, youth dripping from their mask-muffled voices. John and I avoided eye contact and pretended to scold them for sneaking out of the house, but potential kidnapping aside, you've got to appreciate that imagination, people. (And the extra sleep.)

The last several nights when I've come home (late), John and the kids are in the back yard, John with a beer and the kids on their bikes, circling the patio and pretending to be doing something healthy and/or harmless, like driving through McDonald's or shopping at Wal-Mart or killing a rainforest for their consumer convenience - you know, because we set really good examples around here - and I see them through the windows in my bedroom and notice something different about them from the day before. Quinn's hair looks longer, Bryce's legs look lankier, their faces look older, their voices sound more mature, their words more articulate. When I'm here and I'm recognizing this and trying to hard-wire these details into my memory, my heart aches and I think I'm going to start doing a better job of recording all of this. But then I blink, and the night is over.