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August 25, 2002 - Sunday
This morning we took the boys to the regional 4-H fair. It seemed like a good diversion, with plenty of animals to see up close in a not too demanding environment. This afternoon we visited an airfield where a local skydiving school was having its annual exhibition. Harry and Jeremy, though mostly of interest to just Harry, got to watch dozens of parachutist float down and land just a short distance away. He seemed to understand it more than I might have expected, too, although that , of course, is rather hard to judge. At the end of the day there seemed to be this odd juxtaposition of goats in his references to the skydiving.?. But, I believe that is just a part of his increasingly active imagination and the stream of consciousness talking that he does at two and a half. Whatever it is, he seemed to have enjoyed the skydiving.

I suppose I should just leave it at that. It's a nice little day in the lives of two married people with two young children doing their little suburban activities to keep the children interested and entertained. And, if I stop there, the day will certainly seem like a lot more fun a few months from now. Indeed, the day did end rather well, blossoming into family contentment just about the time Harry saw that first parachute from out the car window as we neared the airfield. "What's that?" was what he said from the back seat as we turned into the tiny, single runway airport and away from a morning that coalesced all the divisive negativity of recent days or weeks or months and begged that same question. It's not that Harry or Jeremy was in a particularly poor mood, but rather that the inertia of mild discontentment from whiny young boys and over-tired parents conspired to tear at the peace of our little family. It was a day that looked into the abyss of parenting and parents, mused of a joint life of simple contentment lost, and dared us to think of being in another place. These days happen and have happened before, but somehow today had momentum behind it. From what I don't know, although I suspect it is the simple complacency of letting a two-year old dictate a routine that finds two parents individually fighting redundant battles against that malaise, thereby leaving less time for keeping a happy family. It seems it's mornings like this that drive the stereotypes of parenting two small children and that, when piled high and at length, can be the root of family evils. So, I guess it's important to remember these times, too, to know them and to derail and distract them. The animals didn't do it, but thank the sky for the parachutes.

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