During the summer months, while Drew has been out of school, he has spent weekdays with his Gigi and me. I take off on Fridays and those are usually boy’s play-days for us, or boy’s day out. Our typical Fridays begin with a biscuit run. No, that is definitely not any kind of exercise. We drive through some place that sells biscuits, maybe with gravy. We may even add what we call a sweet biscuit. After our biscuit run, we need to run (yes, the kind that is exercise), so we head on over to the Opelika Sportsplex around the middle of the morning. I have been an avid racquetball player for over thirty years. Drew is not actually playing competitively yet, but he is getting better.
One Friday, on our way to play, we passed by an eighteen-wheeler. I said, “My daddy, who would have been your great-granddaddy, used to drive one of those.” Drew replied, “I don’t like them.” I asked, “You don’t like what?” He answered, “I don’t like those big trucks.” I asked, “Why?” He completely surprised me when he said, “Because you have to change gears in them.” This raised several questions in my mind. First, how did he even know that you have to change gears? Some big trucks do have auto-shift transmissions, but most are still manual. I doubt he has ever even seen inside an eighteen-wheeler. Since he is only nine, I know without a doubt that he has never driven one. I guess he has already made his mind up that he doesn’t want to drive a big truck when he’s grown, because he doesn’t want to change gears! At nine years old, I didn’t drive my dad’s eighteen-wheelers either, but I did sit in them and joyfully pretended to shift gears.
After racquetball, guess what we did. We went to lunch. Perhaps you’ve figured out the reason I play racquetball is so I can eat! Then we went to one of Drew’s favorite places – The Home Depot. Okay, so I like it too. We looked at every refrigerator in the place and then bought some PVC pipe for a small repair job at home. I don’t know why, but he likes refrigerators.
Drew’s mom had asked me if I would take him to get his haircut. On the way we passed Wendy’s. Well, that’s not exactly true. We almost passed Wendy’s. I’m sure we had not run enough playing racquetball to eat chocolate frostys, but quite frankly, we didn’t seem to care. We should have gone back to run some more, but we didn’t because we had to go get those haircuts.
With a tone of concern in his voice, Drew wanted to know what kind of haircut he was going to get. I replied, “We’ll get you one that won’t require you to change gears.” With a look of confusion, he scratched his head. Oh, you too? I soon realized that his bigger concern was that the person who cuts my hair was going to cut his too. He was afraid his hair might look like mine. I said, “You don’t want a haircut like mine?” With raised eyebrows he gave me an “Are you crazy look.” Then he said, “You mean bald?” I replied, “I’m not bald.” He said, “No, but you do have holes in your hair!” Perhaps I have holes in my head too, but we had a fun day, haircuts and all, simply because we were together.
I don’t think it matters what we do with our children or grandchildren. What does matter is that we do something. We like to fish too and sometimes even do some chores together. I’ve heard it said that love is spelled T-I-M-E. I must agree.
— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Thursdays edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.