Across the street, to the right, lives a family of four. A dad, a mom, a son and a daughter. Mom is shy and stays home with the young daughter. Dad, a bit more outgoing, works long hours in construction. The son attends middle school and likes to play basketball.
My daughter leaves for work around 6:30 most mornings. One day last week she was scheduled 30 minutes later and so when I stood at our front door watching her leave the setting beyond my door was 30 minutes later that what I usually view.
Movement across the street took my attention from my daughter and I focused upon the people who stood at the road.
It was the dad and the son.
On countless mornings I had seen the dad leave his driveway in his company truck just seconds after our daughter left for work. This morning was different. It was after 7 and Dad had not yet left. He and his son stood in the cold with hands crammed into their pockets and talked. Both smiled and laughed, Son animated at times, Dad interested and engaged.
My daughter drove off, I waved to her.
My wave caught the attention of the Dad and Son who returned my wave. I remained at my front door and watched. I’m old enough that it’s okay if I seem a bit nosy. (I prefer the term – interested.)
For five minutes more they stood talking and I stood watching. Then, suddenly I saw Dad and Son jerk to attention. The boy turned to Dad with a quick hug, then ran across the street and down to the corner. Dad had no time to react. He shrugged his shoulders and watched.
I felt it before I saw it – a deep rumble, then a growl as the yellow Blue Bird school bus rounded the curve, came into full view as it passed me with lights flashing. It zipped past Dad, then I heard it slow to a stop at the corner.
I blinked and Dad was gone.
A door closed, an engine roared to life and the lights on the company truck glowed. Dad pulled the truck to the edge of the road – to the spot where he and Son had stood only moments before – and he paused, took one final glance in the direction Son had taken and then headed in the opposite.
I thought to a day, not many weeks past, when I was walking home from Mom’s after spending several hours working on her yard. I was tired. It was cold. Darkness was settling and I was eager to be about my business…relaxing inside.
Dad and Son met me. They were out for a run and slowed as they approached me. I called out, “Hi! How are you?” and Dad replied, “very tired, full day’s work, but this (and looked at Son) is what’s important now!”