We took an interesting man out to breakfast this morning. The conversation with him was engaging to say the very least. Topics over eggs and coffee ranged from the needs of aging Vietnam veterans to matters of theological signficance. The interchange additionally veered off into such topics as classic films and the real estate market. I love a challenging conversation, so today was a treat.
I should also mention that our dining experience was disrupted by a restless little boy sitting right next to us. He could not have been more than 18 months old. His parents were getting quite creative as they tried to keep him occupied in a busy restaurant where the service was a tad slow. I assured them that we were not offended in the least. In fact, I shared that we had been in a similar position with three little boys once upon a time. It has just been a few years….
Our conversation with our honored guest continued as they wrestled with a little boy that was not fond or high chairs or pronlonged waits for food arrival. They ate their meal rather hurriedly. And before I knew it, they had paid their ticket and left.
Thankfully our guest did not seem phased by the restless little boy playing peek-a-poo with his father. He seemed obvlious to the circus going on within inches of our table as he discussed the latest measures congressional leaders have taken to meet the needs of veterans returning today after overseas tours. He quoted exact numbers in regard to funds recently allotted by the government for such endeavors. And he reflected on an experience he had at DFW airport a few years ago when he was with a group of kids welcoming veterans returning from tours in Iraq. The little blonde boy sitting next to us was the farthest thing from his mind. But I could not help but be distracted…
I saw my youngest son sitting next to us. That little boy climbed out his high chair using the same maneuvers Mitchell did a few years ago. His dad took him outside for a few minutes while they waited for their food. I did that a few dozen times with all three of my boys. As that dad paid his check, he probabably wondered if their Saturday morning family breakfast outing was really worth it. I wanted to grab him and introduce him to my special guest…
I would say: “Sir, meet my guest. He can discuss history, current events, and theology in an intelligent manner. He is very articulate indeed. But a few years ago, I was wrestling with him in restaurants and countless other public venues. Yes…I am talking about my guest today, sir. Those days are gone. They went by in a flash. And they will for you too. After I pay my check, I am taking this intelligent and compassionate young man to his college dorm for the first time. I am going to leave him there. His independence begins today. So..enjoy that restless little boy. You will blink and find yourself leaving without your son in tow. On that dayI hope you are as blessed as I was this morning. Sitting next to you put things in proper perspective for me. I am grateful for you. Blesings on your journey.”
Once upon a time I wrestled with a little blonde boy in a high chair…But today I was with an interesting man sitting across from me. He is my son and I am proud of him.