Yesterday I worked late and missed Orion’s bedtime. Jenny promised him I would spend some alone time with him this morning before work. I resented her a little for writing checks I had to cash. Especially because I was hoping to be into work early to get back to the stuff that had me in the office at 8pm last night.
And of course he slept “late” (by his standards: 7am). But it’s impossible to resent a three year old. He was greatly excited about our “special morning.” He had a plan mapped out: we would ride the bike and trailer to Custer Park and play on the playground. Not a fancy plan.
This playground is along the route we used to take to get to his old preschool in Multnomah Village. Our short trip was richly nostalgic for us, despite having only been about a year since we last rode along this route. Orion remembered: “this is the way to my old school!”
I’m a person of simple habits, constantly formed and dissolved. When Orion started full-time daycare almost two years ago I was unenthused about taking a side trip every morning. It quickly became part of our morning ritual, one I came to miss.
On the way home, unbidden, I thought about love. The Mountain Goats’ song “Love Love Love” sprang into my head and it broke my heart. It’s not a happy song but it has this line:
Some things you do for money
And some you’ll do for fun
But the things you do for love
Are gonna come back to you one by one
When I started writing this blog post a few minutes ago I wanted to try and write about the love I feel for our kids, something profound and impossible I never knew, four years ago, I had in me. But it’s easier to write about it in reverse: the heartbreaking thing about parenthood is running face-first into the concept of impermanence. Orion is a very different person than he was a year ago, and he will never be that person again, just as we will never visit Custer Park in exactly the way we did this morning again. By dint of habit I sleepwalk through events that will become significant only in retrospect. The love I feel for Orion and Iris, it’s the exact opposite of that.