B. is fast. J. is too, but B. has the running bug. If he keeps up with it, he can be really good. He doesn’t like the short runs, but events like the 1600 make him happy. He can strategize and plot. The distance gives him room to adapt to the other runners.

That goes with everything, unfortunately. Soccer. Guitar. Trumpet. School. Everything he likes to do comes somewhat easy to him. That’s what worries me.

J., however, is a struggler. She overthinks stuff. She has to work at things and doesn’t always want to. That worries me too.

I never really liked to write about the kids too much here–I like to respect their privacy–but this is about me. I really struggle with finding ways to encourage them even when the payoff is a long time away.  And that’s the hard life lesson for everyone–time has a way of moving forward, and incremental progress has a similar way of accumulating results. I’ve had my ukulele 13 years. Not a coincidence that my oldest turned 13 this year.  A little plucking once a day could have led to something, much the same way that the extra cookie each day also led to something.

“You could be there by now if only you…” that level of regret and admonishment are starting to creep into how I speak to my kids, and I need to quit it. The same way I think about it myself. All the things I didn’t get to do 15 years ago made possible the things I have now every bit as the things I did do, if that makes sense. Sure, I could have retired by 40 if we had saved 80% of our income, but then we probably we wouldn’t have chosen kids. We should have bought a bigger house at the outset, but then the recent series of property tax increases would have driven us out of the town we like. I could have written that book or played that uke, but I still can. Incrementally. A bit at a time.

This was a good weekend. It is finally warm. The kids birthdays have come and gone, and so have the associated sleepovers. The missus and I are groggy, but Tonka is still mellow and the house still stands.

Next comes spring cleaning and the great big resetting of things.