Front seat

My son sits in the front seat now.

He’s tall and thin and man-childish. My floorboard is high and he’s all-legs so his knees stick up into the air, seemingly at eye level, interfering with my operation of the stick shift, making me constantly wonder who this tall person sitting next to me is, and how in the hell he got to be so big so fast.

Of course, it wasn’t fast at all. Not really.

It’s all very frog-in-the-kettle, watching your children grow up. It happens so gradually, you’re almost unaware of it.

They’re born and in a couple of days or less you put them in the car for the first time, so careful with everything, making sure all of the straps are snug and in the proper place, clicking the seat in place, wiggling it a few times to make sure it’s not going anywhere, so fragile they are. And for a while, that’s where they ride, in this mini-fortress, facing away from the front seat so when you look in the mirror you cannot get a good look at them. You just trust the seat is doing it’s job. They’re probably sleeping anyway, or sucking on a pacifier, or gurgling baby language at the ceiling.

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Girls in dresses

“Gone are the sundresses! The sundresses, Ted! I don’t think I can make it another 8 months with no sundresses.” Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

When I was in high school, my family went to church every Sunday. In those days, people still wore their “Sunday Best” to church every week. So every week I had the opportunity to see all the pretty teenage girls in their best outfits, hair perfect (in those days, usually teased up real big), make-up applied, the scent of sweet perfume floating around them. I loved the spectacle of Sunday mornings. It was something I looked forward to, maybe even more than being on a beach filled with the tanned and the bikini-clad.

Back then, I had a years-long crush on a girl in our youth group. If I happened to miss a particular Sunday due to illness, my friends would send me notes (kids, this is what we did before texting – we actually sent hand-written notes to each other and it was awesome) home with my brother letting me know which dress she was wearing. And this would invariably add to the pain of the illness, the frustration of not getting to see my friends. I could picture what she looked like and I knew what I had missed out on.

There’s just something about a girl in a dress.

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Friday

Good Friday

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng

When I was in high school, in the dead of another Atlanta winter (I know, I know, Atlanta winters are mild, but I had moved from South Florida when I was fifteen. Anything below 50 was frigid), I prayed it would snow so I could miss a day of school.

It didn’t happen very often.

I was always disappointed when the weatherman would call for snow at night, only to wake up in the morning and the ground was not white, just the color of sleeping grass and faded pine straw. I had to go to school. It was devastating (not really, but it felt like it).

What I realized over time was what seemed devastating in the moment actually led to something amazing. It’s called the “Snow Day.” A day in the warmth of spring which would have been a normal day of school, but because it had not snowed, it became a holiday. I didn’t have to wake up early, didn’t have to bundle up to go outside, didn’t have to worry about studying or practicing sports. It was a true day off. Better than Saturday, even, because it was unexpected and there were no other commitments.

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