Friday, July 20, 2012

Have Fun and Be Careful

We live in close proximity to our neighbors, just a few feet between our houses, so we hear their coming and going and they hear ours.  Early this morning, I awoke to the sounds of cars being rearranged, doors and trunks being opened and closed, the crunch of footsteps on gravel driveways, and muffled voices.  Then out of the blend of sounds, I heard our neighbor's forty-year-old son call out, "Bye, Mom" and heard her answer, "Have fun and be careful." I'm guessing the son and his dad were off to a weekend antique car show, and Shirley (wife and mom) was staying home.  Just before the cars pulled away from the curb, I heard Bob (husband and father) call out, "I'll call you when we get there, Shirl."  Bob and Shirley have six children and a bunch of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so as I was lying in bed wondering if I could fall back asleep, I started thinking about how many times Shirley has probably said those very same words over the years.   It's the same thing I say to my kids, the same thing my parents said to me, the same thing parents everywhere say to their kids.  It's a hope, a wish, a blessing, a prayer.  And we feel as though we can't let them go without saying it, as if saying it will make it so.  It's what we all want for our kids each time they head out on an adventure and we stay behind smiling bravely and waving good-bye.  Have fun and be careful.

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