Samuel J. Tanner 3 minute read

Building Trikes

I spent Wednesday morning assembling trikes for Solomon and Samson.

Natalie - babysitter Natalie - sent the boys matching trikes for Christmas. It got up to 65 degrees in Central Pennsylvania this week. I finally took the disassembled contraptions out of their boxes. Katie took the boys to speech at 9:30 AM. I didn't have meetings until noon, and was sick of writing. So I opened the garage door, blasted Neil Young, and found a screwdriver.

It took me two hours, but I managed to put the damned things together. I didn't say the F-Word once. Still, the work was a little beyond me. I kept at it, though. I'm not handy, but I'm determined.

Birds sang in the trees that line my driveway. I could see green mountains out the open garage door. A peaceful, spring breeze swept through the garage. Horses grazed in my neighbor's pasture. I was assembling toys for my sons on a Wednesday morning. The domestic bliss wasn't lost on me.

I come from extreme domestic instability. Read my memoirs. Seriously, go buy the damned things, will you? And write good reviews on Amazon, okay? Playing with Sharp Objects will be out soon. You'll want to be caught up. This new book is a doozy. It's the best of them, to be sure.

I digress with a marketing pitch. I was writing about familial instability.

I loved (and love) the family I came from. Mom, Dad, and my sister. Still, my childhood was unstable. Volitile is the right word. Chaos was always lurking around the corner, threatening to undermine whatever security existed. Our family was usually in crisis. It was bound to fall apart.

I'm insecure. I don't think this is an intrinsic character flaw. I think it has something to do with the ways I grew (and am growing) into adulthood. Part of me is always convinced the other shoe will drop. This life I'm living now is so strange.

I have a beautiful, strong wife. Katie loves me unconditionally. I have two powerful, healthy, and happy sons. I live in a peaceful valley with a view of the mountains. I have a job that allows me to build trikes for my boys on a Wednesday morning.

How the hell did this happen? How did I stumble into this life? Lucky? Blessed?

I'm insecure, yes, but my consciousness is deepening as I age. I'm learning to accept and enjoy this unexpected moment. My marriage with Katie is good. My two sons are good. My job is good. My home is good. No, my life isn't some ideal paradise. There are plenty of challenges and complications. Still, there's nothing wrong with acknowleging when things are good. And things are good.

Yes, something eventually will disrupt this moment. Our circumstances are always changing. Our context. That's part of being a human. But accepting that we can't make things go our way forever might be important. We've been created to be and become in an infinitely complex, and unknowable universe. We are so fragile, and things are always changing. We are changing. There's comfort in this truth, for me. We are always and forever transforming - becoming. Let it happen, I guess.

I built trikes for my sons on a Wednesday morning. There's nothing wrong with enjoying that, I guess, regardless of the insecure anxiety that lurks somewhere deep inside of me. That jerk. Get out of here already, will you?

Building trikes? Sure.