I had a fantastic idea to go watch a race with my car loving twin sons who are two years old. We left a bit late on a Friday evening being passed by classics and exotics, all of which affirmed where I was going and what my children would be exposed to.
Plans of leaving by five were dashed, my wife experiencing a bit of a complication at work. However none of my children napped so I was hopeful for slumber during the two hour car ride.
I have twins, fraternal boys at two years and a five month old daughter. My beautiful son loved our hotel room so much that he couldn’t sleep; rather watching Portland’s trolleys and cars roll past. My wife was a bit less happy, having spent a more than full day with patients. I loved staying up with him helping him going to sleep, then realizing he wanted to watch cars. Fiscally and rationally I should’ve encouraged him to go to sleep especially taking my marriage into consideration.
But, I knew better. I did the exact same thing when I lived in rural Ohio listening to race cars on a dirt track. I’d find myself out of my bed only to find the largest window in the house allowing me to let me hear cars with thunderous V8s race around a track only slightly smaller than my imagination. The dreams fulfilling realities from this journey are transformative and any knowing parent knows to allow this.
He fell asleep clutching my arms, I whispered I loved him forever both as he fell asleep, and as he woke up. He awoke a few hours later, I’d help him from bed to not hurt himself and we watched more trains pass by with only fewer cars. He would continually hop off the bed, allowing me to relive my youthful joys with every journey. Eagerly, he would rush over to the window showing the trolley passing by and once done slowly return to the bed, requesting my assistance to return to a slumber that was not to be.
Funny as the night passes by, I had a few hours sleep, but the time with my son was magical and I forfeited the entire race weekend for that night. Perhaps we both did.
Sleep deprivation is tough on everybody. Family was up by 5 am with my son’s wailing. I refused acquiesce to his demands of opening the curtains far enough to see all cars and trolley’s passing by you see. Maybe to curb his demands, maybe to get some sleep. Regardless, having had two hours sleep, I felt like I was on the best of benders experiencing the peak of my son’s life.
We repacked the luggage we had only unloaded hours before. My daughter having paid attention to the white noise emitting from the tablet her mother placing above her and not her brother’s cries of loco and automotive rendezvous decided to join in the chorus of wailing. A bottle of formula was quickly dispatched to help reduce the crescendo of discontent children.
A call to the front desk procured a valet with a luggage cart who helped us downstairs and retrieve our car. The movement from one place to the next provided sufficient entertainment to the young ones validated with an absence of noise. My wife and I smiled at each other enjoying the sound of silence.
The voyage back home was decidedly quieter. A grand fog rolled over the freeway that the morning sun failed to cut through. It blurred every detail of the journey back home allowing me to refocus on the hours past.
We checked out two days early, no racing being watched and a lifetime experienced. I spent four hours driving to only spend six hours in a hotel I spent way too much on yet would not trade anything for it.
A few hours playing with my son affirms I made the right choice.