To celebrate our ten year anniversary, we are inviting back former writers back to tpc in order to hear what they’ve been thinking about since leaving the post calvin. Today, please welcome back Matt Cambridge. Matt (’12) is husband to Kendahl, dad to Chloe and Adam, and a Human Resources professional living in St. Louis. He enjoys playing racquetball and living vicariously through other people’s travel pictures.
I cancelled a 10k today.
My wife and I were angling for it, having spent the past week at home recovering from COVID along with our two kids. We hadn’t trained properly even before getting sick and hadn’t run at all in the days leading up to the race.
Then, last night, the night before the race, our almost-two-year-old Adam woke up with vomit all over his clothes and his crib, and the decision was made for us. As we discussed our feelings this morning, we talked about how we want to be able to do all the things and how frustrating it is when we can’t.
Fortunately, I made the drive to pick up our packets already, which included a maroon quarter zip that I will most definitely be wearing around town.
It’s a typical Sunday, several weeks back. I get Adam dressed for church and decide to put on the overalls this week because I was made for adventure.
Later in the afternoon, I take the kids in the stroller for a run to East Park, a little corner of St. Louis that has already become legendary to our family. It’s a little playground on the West side of Tower Grove Park, a place Chloe and I used to bike to when she was little enough to fit on the bike companion seat. On our way there, a guy in a visor and long socks tells me I’m doing a good job, and it’s almost enough to make me cry.
At the park, Chloe falls on her side and hurts herself and automatically calls for Mama. I comfort her, and she lets me kiss her side, an act I recognize in the moment as fleeting magic. We decide to leave the park, and Adam won’t eat his half of the breakfast bar I brought but then freaks out when Chloe eats it. Sigh.
As we walk into the house, both kids eagerly call for Mama who is upstairs ironing. The time between 5pm and bedtime is a chasm that feels impossible to traverse. Today, we fill it by playing with stuffed animals and having a living room dance party, which begins with Shake it Off. At one point, Adam is goofily running back and forth to the toy room, and Chloe laughs so hard she starts peeing her pants. We sit on the couch together and watch a Bluey. Adam always thinks the episode is over when the title slide comes up. Maybe this is why all the books say not to let your kids watch TV before they turn two.
We go upstairs and play in Chloe’s room. I come in and bounce on her pink cow, and Adam does his dramatic fake laugh which I find so compelling. I take Chloe into the bathroom to close out bedtime preparation and hear the faint sounds of Kendahl reading Adam the First 100 Words book.
I come downstairs, feeling peeled as I often do from the day’s events, and sit down on the couch to turn on the TV. To my left are our new hanging shelves which contain a beige-colored frame, within which is a white piece of paper containing three yellow words, which serve as a reminder that the life we have is pretty darn sweet.
If you are a former writer and interested in contributing this year, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Cambridge (’12) is a new dad to Chloe, husband to the beautiful Kendahl, and a human resources professional at Boeing. He lives in St. Louis and enjoys eating Hershey’s kisses, riding roller coasters, and watching the latest stand-up specials on Netflix. You can read more of his work at laughcrythink.com.