Adrian and Griffin went to Big Bear recently with their cousin Rowie and her fiance, Kyle.  The trip might have been some sort of training ritual they felt compelled to undertake as they prepare to take their vows and have a family of their own.  What I think they learned is that 2 kids + 2 nights = too tired. But they are young and inspired.

They brought the kids home on Sunday night.  “We got to stay up until midnight!” boasted Griff.  “And we got up at 6am!”  These two statements are proof positive of the universal equation above. But by the way they were chasing the dogs around the backyard, they seemed immune to exhaustion.

Until bedtime, that is: 8pm sharp. “I have to say,” Adrian began, his clinical tone making me think he was going to parse the weekend highlights.  “I feel like I’m missing something.” Missing?  Like a shoe or a homework assignment?  “It feels like…sad or something.”  I put my hand over his heart.  “Right here?”  He shook his head and pointed to his throat. “Right here.” Then he pointed to his gut. “And here.”  When I asked him what this “missing” felt like, he thought hard.  “It feels like…” he began, “It feels like I’m only 63% happy.

This conversation is like being a spectator to my own childhood. I’d have this missing at the end of every Christmas, family vacation, or weekend away with friends. It’s the cold ashes of time well spent divided by the number of hours of sleep lost. Back then, I wasn’t old enough to know that what I was feeling was the blues.

The last of the daylight was coming through the curtains, enough to see the shine in Adrian’s green eyes. “It’s not that I want to cry, really,” he said as I ran my fingers through his hair like my mom always did for me. “It just feels like I’m missing…” He stopped and waited for the answer to come. “Big Bear.” Then he turned on the fan next to the bed, letting the cool air blow his tears dry as I sat there suddenly fighting them myself.

Alpine Slide at Big Bear Mountain in California

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