What an almost perfect weekend it was.
I’ll get to the almost in a bit, but like the good book, let’s start at the beginning.
I got a call a few days ago from a friend who said that she was going to be in the neighborhood this weekend.
Well, not exactly the neighborhood, but my state.
Considering she lives in a different time zone, a two-hour drive was the least I could do.
So I loaded up the car and took the two older kids on a road-trip.
My wife stayed home with our six year-old and the dog.
The ride there gave me and my 12-year old daughter and 11-year old son a great opportunity to catch-up as they entered their spring break.
I’ve got satellite radio in my car so we had a lot of musical options.
For the most part they wanted the Top 40 station and I gave in to be a good dad.
Did you know that Lady Gaga and Lady Antebellum are not related?
At one point, I was looking to get a little break and give the kids a little culture, so I flipped on preset #7.
The Broadway Channel.
I really don’t listen to it much, but everyone could use a little Orphan Annie from time-to-time.
The first song to come on was one of my old favorites, “I Can Do That,” from A Chorus Line.
A Chorus Line was one of the few eight-tracks my mom owned, so whenever we would go on a long drive when I was a child, we were sure to hear something from that show.
Maybe that’s why I knew all the words.
Well the rest of the drive went well as did the entire weekend.
It was great to spend quality time with the kids and show them off to my friend.
For the ride home, I was able to take control of the radio and get a little sports in the background, but it was the discussion in the car that I really enjoyed.
Kids really do say the darndest things.
At one point my daughter asked me if I thought life was short.
Wow, that one came out of left field. I didn’t even know she liked baseball.
I thought for a moment and then said, "life is not short, but you do need to take advantage of every moment you have."
Then, with my mind scanning like a Google Search, I shared a story with them from 2001.
I remember having dinner with my wife, my dad and his wife in March of that year. At one point during the meal we started talking about Notre Dame, my favorite college football team.
My dad worked in sports for my entire life and most of his, but he had never been to South Bend.
He said one of these years we will go.
“One of these years?,” I said. “Let’s do it this year!”
Sure enough we went that fall and watched the beloved Irish defeat USC, 27-16.
(For the record, I am 3-0 at Notre Dame Stadium.)
The trip was absolutely amazing. Just father and son watching sports.
Now my dad and I had A LOT of great father/son sports moments, but I don’t remember an entire weekend when it was just us, no distractions.
We went to the Pep Rally, walked around the campus, sat next to each other for the entire game.
We enjoyed every moment.
Six months later he died of a massive heart attack.
I never had a chance to say goodbye.
Like I told my daughter, enjoy every moment.
Well, almost every moment.
One moment I did not enjoy this weekend was about 90 minutes into our two-hour ride home when I was clocked going 80 in a 55.
The officer was kind enough to lower it to 79, so I didn’t have to make a mandatory court appearance, but $225 later, it really bummed me out.
For a little bit.
Not even a speeding ticket or the $225 it will cost me on my unemployed budget could wipe away the perfect weekend I had with the kids.
Well, almost perfect.