Here's something from a while ago. I'm re-posting it here at my blog because I thought it would be nice to have something up that would read with less bite to it.
It's 1:22 a.m. and I'm still up. Have to rise to the alarm at 6:30 a.m., and grump my way down the stairs to get the kids' breakfast ready. Not exactly sure why I can't sleep. Seem to have this slideshow of my life whizzing by in my head; projections of future failures, aspirations, successes.
Fine time to have an existential moment. At 1:22 a.m., that is.
Must've been brought on by a comment my wife made earlier. Yes, I'm blaming her. The blame is good though. She said, in a moment of marital insightfulness, "we're raising our grandkids." From the outside, that's a comment worthy of a sidelong glance, a twisty face that says, "Er, wha?" 'Cause from the outside, we're only 30 and 33 years old with three kids [*four now] under the age of 4.
But the view from the inside is different. There's a vault opened up in my head now: family patterns, cycles, history, mistakes, problems, joys, memories... Really, it's that slideshow I mentioned earlier. So, I think back to my wife's comment, and understand that the way we deal with our family now is the way our kids will deal with their families then (whenever 'then' is). And more, generational problems in my family can be worked out in future generations if Sarah and I do something about it now, with our kids.
That's a good thing for me to think about. Gives me the opportunity to love whoever my future generations will be, even before they are. Let's me start in motion a smoothing-over process. You know, break the bad patterns, start good ones in their place. Lets me say "I love you" into the future, into the hearts and minds of the wee ones to come.
It's also a bad thing for me to think about: keeps me up until -- what is it now? -- 1:40 a.m. Time to try and sleep again...