How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

The Gloaming Light

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There is a wakefulness between the purity of the aware and the somnolence of sleep that feels like anything is possible. It’s better than a dream. It’s a waking dream under my command. I haven’t felt it in some time, but I know it could be just past the horizon line.

I am nearly there.

My sons keep the hearth fires burning inside me. My wife cleans the lenses on my eyes. And we burn the shit out of marshmallows over the flame.

We decided to take a few days and trek southward, between the waking and sleeping sun, to find some of that golden hour time. What we got instead was a series of moments in between moments, like a stutter between poetry.

Traveling with kids is hard for us. Either we aren’t that good at it, our kids aren’t ready for it, or that’s just how kids roll at these ages. Holed up in a hotel that time remembers for Marilyn Monroe and “Somewhere in Time” — we were looking for a sunset to watch in silence. We had some moments but the dream was dotted with some whining and hangriness. Mainly from me.

I don’t trust in the silence like I used to. I don’t breathe, fully and deeply, like I want. I yearn for the waking moment to match my imagined life. I am living in a future without a fully sorted out present.

But I am nearly there.

And while I can’t complain since I have a job, a family, and my health, there’s a twilight that’s fallen over me. I want it to be the rise, not a fall. This trip cracked open the space between. I need to find more open space and create my life as art inside.


2 Responses to “The Gloaming Light”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I was about to write about life as art.

    This is gorgeous Charlie.

    The toddler years are hard.


  2. neal says:

    My daughter (4) doesn’t travel well. And by that I mean that I probably have a lot of growing up to do in order to travel well with her. But yeah, there are adventurous travel moments that somehow happen despite all my surliness, and they offer a glimpse into the family experiences that I hope will someday become not just glimpses, but a long, appreciative gaze.

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