Friday night, as I’m getting ready for a rare evening out, my son informs me that I have to drive him to the ballpark in the morning. I have no problem with that theoretically, except I have orchestra rehearsal in the morning. He turns to my husband, who has a major project due on Monday and will be working. In Maryland. That’s a totally different state.
My son is not happy. “But it’s a school assignment.” What class? Gym. Since when does gym have homework? Especially homework that requires cameras, computers and printers? He’s in high school. This has got to be a sign of a school system with more affluence than common sense (and I teach in it from time to time, so what does that say?)
Remaining calm, I tell him that I will gladly take him to the baseball field in the afternoon, but the morning is not a possibility. He is still not happy.
This happens more than I would like. Everything has to be done right now, and of course, I am supposed to drop everything and comply, because it’s not like I’m doing anything. Most hours of the day, I am either at the computer, writing, or have a violin in my hand, so I’m not sure I understand his definition of not doing anything. I suppose he means not doing anything that someone is lined up to pay me to do.
That’s the kicker, isn’t it? If one doesn’t get paid, the activity drops to the bottom of the priority list after getting the car fixed, picking up the dry cleaning, unloading the dishwasher and cleaning up the cat’s hairballs. So I do what I must. I write about it.
Come Saturday afternoon I’m at my desk, working through some dialogue, when my son comes up from behind. He put his arms around me in a heartfelt hug. I’m waiting for it, and…. there is it.
“Can you drive me to the ballpark in 30 minutes?”
“Sure,” I say. Just as he’s leaving, I stop him. “Hey! Do you want to read today’s Momaiku?” I don’t usually offer.
He comes back and I pop it onto the screen.
“I love you” he said
You need a ride somewhere, right?
Yeah, that’s what I thought
He read it and puts a finger to his lips “Shhhhhhhh,” he says. “This did not just happen.” It’s our secret.
Until now, of course.
Words by J. B. Everett