Saturday, June 18, 2011

In Which I Ask My Kids To Go With Me To the Post Office

I had to run to the post office one Saturday morning so I asked if any of my three boys wanted to go along. None did. In fact, one even looked at me like I might be crazy--as if he was thinking, why would I want to go to the post office? I don't have anything to mail. 

It was an instinctive request--borne of years of being invited by my father to go to the post office with him--and it wasn't until I was on my way that I realized the irony of it.

So I drove to the post office alone. I stood in line alone, completed my transaction alone, and drove home alone. All the while I thought about what might have been if one of my boys had been with me. There would be time to talk. Time to listen. Time to just be together. But the opportunity was lost.

It wasn't as sad as I'm making it sound, but I'm sure I could find a little sweet violin music to induce a tear or two, dear reader. Still, I wouldn't have minded having a buddy along with me that morning.

Instead of spending time with a child that morning, I thought of my own dad. Not only did he often ask me to accompany him to the post office, but on occasion, I got an invite to the hardware store. On Saturday mornings he asked if I'd like to help him wash his car. This required waking up earlier than I wanted and going outside when it was cooler than I liked. But I'd get up anyway and help wash and then dry the car with a wet leather chamois that seemed to leave more water than it picked up.

Each of these activities was a chance for me to spend time with my dad. They were mostly spontaneous and never fancy. I don't remember what we talked about, just that we spent time together.

Just me and my dad.

And while I wish my kids got that, and wanted to go to the post office with me, I'm glad that I took the opportunity to go to the post office with my dad.

But most of all I'm glad that whenever I visit, my dad still asks me to go to the post office with him.


Angela Hunter said...

I feel like this is a story about me. Amazing how with 5 kids we probably all had these fun experiences with dad. There was always work to be done and dad always made it a fun experience working together.

Anna said...

I wish I could go to the post office with your dad. He is awesome! Happy Father's Day Uncle Steve!