His Next Thirty Years

Send him mail.

“One Improved Unit” is an original column appearing sporadically on Monday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OIU-only RSS feed available here.

He stood at the window in the front of his house, looking out. His two children, an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, were playing in the front yard, kicking a soccer ball back and forth.

“Cielito! You need to kick it to me, not over there!” yelled the girl.

“*laughs* I’m sorry! I can’t aim my kicks very well, I guess.” replied her older brother. The girl ran to the sidewalk to retrieve the ball. She brought it back to her spot, dropped it, lined up, and kicked it as hard as she could toward Cielito. It made it about half-way.

“*facepalm* Geez, you can at least get it to me.” he griped.

“Well I’m only 4 you know,” she replied.

They continued their game as he watched them, each doing something the other disliked. Having different sizes, their play was often disproportionate. He pondered their relationship. They often quarreled, but he knew how much they meant to each other. It was amazing to him to witness the lives that he had created, and the people they were becoming. His pondering went forward in time. He considered his children as teenagers, then young adults, and then adults, married, with their own children. He would be a grandpa one day. He thought turning 30 made him officially “old,” but to imagine a grandchild bouncing on his knee made him feel young again, right now.

A hand began rubbing the middle of his back. He loved the way she did that when he least expected it. She knew just where to touch him.

“I heard yelling, are they okay?” his wife asked.

“Yes, they’re just loud, like me. I’m sorry I gave them those genes.”

“I’m not. I love everything about you.”

He returned her smile. In his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. He couldn’t quite understand how he got so lucky as to meet her. Falling in love was easy. She made it easy the way she looked at him and always made him feel like the most important person in the world. They’d been through a lot of trials together, but always came out triumphant, together.

“Why don’t we let them play while we work on our homework?” she asked.

“Homework” was a secret code word for getting intimate. He teasingly considered something else he had to do, but she knew him well enough not to take the bait. She turned around and did a little sexy dance out of the room, twirling and shaking her hips seductively. That brought a big smile to his face.

“Now that you’re 30, you shouldn’t have any trouble going a few rounds,” she said as she went around the corner and down the stairs to their bedroom.

“Oh-ho! We’ll see, now won’t we?” he shouted as he chased after her.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.