It is late in August and I am 1800 miles away. You are (in theory) going camping up on the rim. There was a traffic issue so I don't know anything about timing or how it is all working. I hope that it is amazing. Would you notice? I would like to think that I would and that you would, but we miss it. Sometimes when you are a kid, or adult ... basically a human ... . Sometimes when you are a human you miss it. Sometimes you get it. Missing it feels exactly like it is not there, when it actually is. If you ponder a little bit, think on the days you have had, not just remembering or replay them, but asking them good hard questions, then sometimes you can learn where you missed. It is an imperfect science ... or art.
I wanted to tell you something, something important. I forgot what it was. The snarky person might call it senilty or suggest that it must not have been important. The emotion behind the words I wrote in the preceding paragraph distracted the attention of my memory and I misplaced what I wanted to tell you. I was remembering times that I thought were booring or empty as a kid, and realizing that they had some serious magic that I missed out on. Regret is strong when you get older or ... middle aged.
I ate dinner at Cracker Barrel. They had a waitress there, a kid. Slightly older than you. I don't know her name. She mentioned her boyfriend. I asked how they work in conflict resolution - a critical part of any relationship. Unless you have serious ptsd or damage - nearly anyone can survive when it is peaceful, and easy. It is the hard things - the winters - that must be endured. The challenge then, with the weather and with relationships, is to be able to live well enough in the good times, but also to know what it takes and be adequately staged for success in the hard times. How you fight as a married couple can make or break the relationship. She just withdraws. The waitress said she shuts up, and suppresses.
So I want to tell you about it. Are you ready. One of the very dumb (dumb dumb dumb) things that your gender in our current society does is lionize sucking it up and suppressing. That stages women for so much failure. I wanted to tell the waitress - take a class in negotiation. Learn to both advocate for yourself and communicate your desires. Instead of screaming, or self-strangling, why not a balanced and sustainable approach that leads to success in life. Why binge then starve - an emotionalistic anorexia - when a balanced diet and healthy emotional state can give you a stunningly more rewarding life? I wanted to tell her that debate might do it, but negotiation is responsible for her gender making substantially less than men for the same job. It isn't all the gap, but it is a good chunk. It is accessible. Why not learn it, right?
I remember now, what I want to tell you. Given time and the natural decay of the burst of emotional fog the librarian of the mind comes back online and functions again. I like it here at night. It takes so long for the sun to set, so I missed until this day the experience. When I drive around this place there are so many trees it feels like it is an inhuman jungle. You might get that at first. It feels so far divorced from the community of humans - but it isnt. At night the lights show through. You can see the houses and roads through the greenery and you realize that this is a town bigger than Payson. Heh. Did you see that. You are likely going to be camping on the other side of Payson this weekend and I brought it up. It is nice to know that humans live here - somewhere.
I read an article today that says give your best everywhere, but don't make your work the best of you, because when your work is over, you lose too large a piece of your self. I don't want that. Not for me. Not for you. Not even for your kids.
I love what I do. I need to get working now while I can. There are things that you are going to need that if I work now they get provided.
I love you. I wish you were here with me, and I know that will come in time. In my heart I am comforted by what I think is a whisper from Providence saying that things are in bigger hands than mine. It is both scary and comforting.
Good night. I love you and miss you. You are my favorite little persons - both of you - my favorite little people in the whole wide world.