Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain Patrols

I'm nine, and I walk in the door soaking wet. No coat, no rain jacket. I've been walking in the rain. I'd loved walking in the rain for as long as I could remember. Rain seemed like a special occasion in southern California, and I wanted to feel it, to remember it, to celebrate.

My mom sighs and asks, "What were you thinking?"
"It was fun."
"Getting soaked is fun?"
"Well, yeah."

Mom shakes her head, but she's smiling just a little.


Dylan asks if we can go out "on patrol."
"It's raining," I say.
"It'll be fun."
I start to tell him that we'll wait for the rain to slow down. But then, I remember.

I grab a jacket and meet my son back at the front door. "Where's your jacket?"
"Don't need one," he says.
"C'mon. Get a jacket."
"Please, Dad?"

A memory. A nine year-old's memory.

We come back a half hour later. We're soaked. We're on the verge of shivering. Mom is waiting.

"Where are your jackets?"
"We left them behind," Dylan answers.
"What were you guys thinking?"

But she's smiling just a little, and while her words were "What were you guys thinking?", what we hear is "I love you both, even when you do stupid stuff."

She orders us to stand by the front door. She grabs a couple of towels, orders us to take off our shirts, towels off Dylan, towels off me. She disappears, and comes back with sweat pants and fresh t-shirts for both of us. We put on the dry duds, and retire to the sofa to watch "Dirty Jobs."

Rhonda comes out of the kitchen with hot chocolate. She looks at us, shakes her head, and utters, "boys."

I look at Dylan. He looks so happy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mary's "Conversations with Dad"

I overheard Dylan talking to his friend Kiley on the phone the other day.

"Both of my grandfathers are gone, and it's really made me sad lately."

There are many good things about being an older parent. I think I'm much better at being a dad than I would have been in my twenties. But thinking about my dad and Rhonda's dad makes me sad too. They would have both loved being granddads, and Dylan would have loved being around them.

So, oh yes, there are minuses to being an older parent too.


I read this post from Mary this morning, and I liked it so much that I had to share.