The skiing this Satuday was almost certain to be terrible. Temperatures barely below freezing make for wet, sticky, slow snow; and poor visibility removes the other element which might compensate with appeal. I had promised myself that if Little Bear woke early Saturday we’d go skiing, regardless of all but the most horrid conditions. I had worked out the logistics of skiing at Logan Pass, namely how to get the two of us and all our gear up to end of the paved path, and wanted to put that to use. So when it was sprinkling at 0630 when the bear woke up I dressed us both and went downstairs with the intention of driving to the shop to get pastries for breakfast. Instead I loaded ski gear in the car, went back upstairs, redressed us both, bade M good day, and left.
The skiing was terrible, and even with LB tucked into a synthetic blanket in the largely windproof trailer I didn’t care to be out much more than an hour. Rime was building up on the windward side of my chest, and in the whiteout we ran out of non-sidehill terrain with reliable landmarks should things really close down and the ping pong ball descend. In spit of all that, it was absolutely worthwhile, and we had enough time to get coffee in Apgar, go for a crawl on the beach, and smoke a 5 pound pork roast for dinner.
The crucial word is of course we. Saturdays, when I am not at work but M is, Little Bear and I are we and we are a team whose constraints are impressively modest. My creativity and willingness are usually the limiting factor, things like singletrack mountain biking and shooting rifles (LB pulls off his earmuffs) aside. It is now just assumed that whatever I do, he’ll be along for the ride.
For the rest of our long weekends, and on vacations and in daily life, M is also with us and as a family we can do still more. Again, our energy and perceived limits are generally the limiting factor, though a still stochastic sleep schedule adds to the difficulty.
We’re still mourning our past life a bit, when sleep was abundant and on demand, with leisure hours and as much quiet as we cared to have almost instantly available. In the past 11 months it is shocking how stupid I’ve become, the mind does not get favors from irregular sleep and an absence of unstructured time. I’ve forgotten things I knew, failed to learn things I ought to’ve, and on numerous occasions not heard obvious things told directly to me. But it’s been worth it; the added value I’ve been forced to see in all the little stuff, the greater value I place in each hour, and the greater satisfaction in managing basic things well are unequalable.
All the worst cliches about parenting are true, as are all the best, and neither one cancels out the other.