You spend your lifetime trying to figure out what they are and simultaneously how to be one.
From that moment of discovery, that realization that dawns when you crawl out from under your mother’s caring arms and into the world of men, you will never fully understand it, but it will consume you for the rest of your life.
The 303 train from Chicago to Blue Island broke down last night, leaving me stranded in Chicago waiting for a later train.
Unfortunately, that meant I’d miss my son’s track meet.
He sent me this text just as my train pulled up to the Vermont Street stop where I park my car.
What’s unique about this text, is that it stems from a conversation we had last night while sitting around a small table at Chipotle.
It’s been a long two-weeks of sickness around our house, with everyone dealing with a combination of allergies and head colds, with a little strep throat thrown in for good measure. We needed to buy Carson a pair of running shoes for his track meet on Friday, so I made an executive decision to eat out, which is rare for us.
I started writing this from the Chili’s across from the Comfort Inn we’re staying at in Dentsville, South Carolina tonight.
The kids are staring at me after I just scolded them for replying to the waitress with their typical “ya,” or barely discernible grunt meant to infer that yes, they would indeed like fries with their burger.
“This is the South, where people are polite, and when they ask you if you want fries with your burger, you say yes please,” I told them.
They replied with those barely discernible grunts meant to infer that they indeed understood what I was saying.
After a long evening with Jon in Cincinnati, I was up early, as is my usual habit. I showered, dressed and sat in bed for a while waiting to wake my sleeping wife and kids.
Dinner is a rush of passed dishes, clanking silverware and clinking glasses filled to the top with skim milk, or, perhaps wine.
Once we settle into our food and conversation, we usually meander casually around everyone’s daily experiences or football, to which my wife and daughter roll their eyes and try desperately to change the subject.
Last night Carson opened the evening with this one –
“I want to open a Scotch and cigar bar in Brooklyn.”
It’s not the most surprising thing he’s ever said.
But it made me smile, because he had no fear of putting himself out there on the line for judgement and ridicule, which families are exceedingly good at doling out.
This is one of those weeks or, rather, two-week stretches that we don’t have any time designation for, but you learn to dread them when you’re not in the midst of one of them.
My wife worked 10-days straight at a mismanaged Starbucks, and it left some scars.
The younger kids had a half day of school on Friday, and they made plans, but the oldest had school all day, so they had to cancel their plans, which made for a miserable dinner table conversation on Thursday.
There are nights where our robust family dinner-table discussions descend into a circus only Fellini could appreciate.
Lest you think we’re any more put together than you are.