I have two stories I would like to tell you. One involves my dad and me. The other one is about my son and me.
When I was a little boy, Dad would wake me up early on Saturday mornings in the spring and summer months. You see, Dad liked to fish. I didn’t care much for fishing, but I liked being around my dad so I always told him I wanted to go when he went. Thus, he woke me early on Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays) so we could load up the boat and head out to the lake.
Before we would make our way toward the lake, Dad always stopped by the Dunkin’ Donuts not too far from where we lived. We would each get a coffee–though his was usually bigger than mine–and a donut or two. The donuts were always one of the highlights of the day.
[SIDENOTE: Donuts are my greatest weakness. They are my kryptonite. END SIDENOTE]
Dad has never been a straw person. Or a top on the cup person. He always took the top off his coffee and threw it away. Me, wanting to be like him, did the same. There was one problem with that. You see, when we would leave Dunkin’ Donuts Dad liked to suddenly mash on the brakes, making the car jerk to a sudden stop. In those younger years of my life, I never failed to spill hot coffee on myself when Dad hit those brakes.
Sometimes I screamed.
Dad would then ease off the brakes with a cat-ate-the-canary smile on his face and pull onto the road, as if nothing ever happened.
“If you learn how to hold that cup you wouldn’t have that problem,” he would say after each spillage of hot coffee.
It took a while, but eventually, I learned how to let my arm, hand and cup move with the flow of the car, and when to let the cup go forward when he hit those brakes to keep it from spilling out on me.
I grew up, as kids tend to do.
Dad and I also share the same enjoyment of aquariums. I took a day off from work and he and I decided to go to Augusta to this place called Bob’s Tropical Fish. I was driving. Before leaving, we decided to stop off at the McDonald’s not too far from Dad’s home (the Dunkin’ Donuts was long gone by then).
I was driving. 🙂
You kind of see where this is going, don’t you?
We went through the drive threw, ordered our coffees and pulled out. Dad took the top off of his. I hit the brakes.
I’m smiling right now.
Dad let out a surprised yelp as hot coffee spilled on his hands and lap.
I said, “If you learn how to hold that cup you wouldn’t have that problem.”
It had come full circle.
The apprentice had become the master, even if just for a moment.
Fast forward to now.
Sometimes The Boy (my son) will walk out the front door in front of me to go to the car in the mornings before school. Sometimes when he does that, I let him get to the steps and then I close the door and snicker as I’m doing so. The Boy almost always let’s out a ‘Hey, open the door!’ as he beats on it, trying to get back inside.
“What?” I say. “I was just going to let you start without me.”
Do you see where this one is going? I bet you do.
This morning I had my hands full. The Boy did a nice thing for me. He held the door open so I could get out the house. I gave him a ‘thanks, buddy,’ and walked out the door. I reached the steps and I heard the door close behind me. I went down the steps, turned back to say something to him…and he was nowhere to be seen.
I could hear him laughing from inside the house. Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, I burst out laughing.
The Boy opened the door, his face glowing. He said, “Yeah, that’s what you get. That’s what you get!”
Of course, I continued to laugh.
It had come full circle, just like my dad and I had.
And I couldn’t have been prouder of The Boy.
Until we meet again, my friends…