During the last twenty one years I’ve been both a father and a son. Not a bad job but a job just the same. Between car pools, coaching soccer, helping with home work, running to the emergency room and rides to the part time job after school, I’ve also fixed decks and doors, planted trees and flowers, helped with computer issues and lent a hand to my parents whenever needed.
The years have gone by fast, and I am blessed that my parents both now in their 70’s are in good health and of sound mind and live only a few miles away. Of course this also means I'm the "go to person" when a "critter" shows up in the yard late at night, the ceiling fan needs to be reversed or the Christmas Tree needs to be taken down.
My father, a creature of habit retires each night at exactly 8 PM and that leaves my mother who is “a night owl”, as the perfect late night resource for conversation, as she’s always been good company even well past midnight.
I’ll call her at the last minute, stop by the Harris Teeter and pick up a liter of A&W Root Beer, some vanilla ice cream and spend an hour and a half at the kitchen table talking about everything and at the same time talking about nothing.
And in the late summer evening, with the pavement still radiating the heat of the day she will, as she has done a thousand times before, want to keep the conversation going and will follow me to my car. Another five minutes in the driveway and we’ll again part ways and I’ll dutifully remind her to “Lock Your Doors” before starting my car and heading home.
And so it goes that I am standing in my own driveway at 10:30 on a Friday night.
My son who has spent the better part of the day with me has decided he needs to start heading home. The “girl friend” has been blowing up his phone for the last hour and she needs a ride from work.
I hate to see him go, darkness has overtaken the day, the stillness is overwhelming, but go he must. I walk outside with him not wanting the conversation to end and we stand next to his car like men do, talking about nothing and about everything at the same time.
I turn to walk back to the house and I tell him to drive careful, and his reply to me?….“Lock Your Doors”......
And I suddenly realize my life has come full circle, and I can’t help but smile at my wonderful good fortune.