LIFE WILL BE BAD for the children someday, needless to say, bad for us all before we're done, but I wake them up anyway into this rainy morning because it is not good for man to be alone and I need them more than they or I know to be whoever I am. I suppose that if the occasion presented itself, I would even die for them-not heroically like the dinner- jacketed millionaires on the Titanic helping their ladies into the last lifeboats, but just piggishly as usual, because I couldn't help myself.
I am Adam, and it is my birthday, and the world is mine to name, and Katherine, I say, and the whole creation stops breathing or starts breathing as I reach out to touch the sleeping hand. All flesh is grass and like the flower of the field fades, and yet the morning stars sing together and all the sons of God shout for joy as she raises her head and opens one eye the color of wet slate. Two is not twice one, G. K. Chesterton wrote. Two is a thousand times one. For all I know maybe it was not even good for God to be alone.
Creation is underway. Breakfast is underway. Steam from the tea kettle is fogging up the windows. The cat mews to be let in out of the wet. Getting her bathrobe hooked on the knob of a drawer as she tears by, my wife throws up her hands: "Is it going to be this kind of a day?" With my ear to the radio, I try to catch what the weather will be. Somebody is crying while somebody else says it is her own fault that she is crying. We break fast together, break bread together fast, with the clock on the wall over my wife's head tick-tocking our time away, time away. Soon it will be time to leave for school. Soon enough it will be time to leave.
- originally published in The Alphabet of Grace