The Mast-Head: Low Satisfaction Bar

The small victories of parenthood

   Nights for parents of young and getting-to-be-not-so-young children can be complicated, and by the standards of those without progeny at home, the things we celebrate must seem a little weird. Take, for example, the case of one editorial staff member here who was positively giddy on Tuesday morning because both her toddlers slept all the way through to 6:30 a.m.
    Such are the small victories of parenthood. In my case, I was pleased one night this week that the sequence of prebed tears, various and sundry risings, and some raccoons scuffling outside ended just before 2 a.m., and I was able to get back to sleep by reading half an article in The New Yorker about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Dawn came soon enough, with the songs of birds awaking me.
    School-day mornings are hectic more often than not, with hunts for missing sneakers, complaints about what is for breakfast, and then a sprint out to the end of the driveway to meet the bus.
    On Tuesday morning, however, I had to drive two of our three kids to school in Bridgehampton, and anxiety about what I anticipated would be slow-moving traffic had me more on edge than usual. At Wainscott, I bailed off Montauk Highway and went by way of Sagaponack, looping up to Narrow Lane and slipping into Bridgehampton. It is doubtful that I saved any time by this roundabout route, but at least we were moving and the views were grand.
    With Evvy, our second grader, off to her classroom, I took Ellis to a play yard to ride the trikes before his prenursery session began. There, I struck up a conversation with a woman who, it turned out, had just made the drive from Montauk, staying on the highway the whole way. We had arrived more or less on time with our  charges and were pleased with the accomplishment, as minor as it may seem to those who do not know.