Two Men, a Husky, and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

In the midst of a long, hectic day, preparing for a major event at work this morning, I realized I had several errands to run and no transportation. My two older sons had the car.

I texted my oldest son Ben and asked him to drop it off for me. As I waited for his response, part of me hoped he would offer to run the errands for me. Instead he did one better: he said he would take his brother to class and while waiting for him, would drive me around to get the things I needed for the event at work.

And so with my beloved firsborn behind the wheel and his adorable Husky puppy in the back seat, I was whisked around the south side of Chicago taking care of business. We opened the windows to a beautiful fall day, listened to 70s rock-and-roll, and discussed the merits of such classics as “Blinded by the Light.” It was the perfect antidote to the stress of planning the big event at work.

Just two weeks away from his 21st birthday, my son is making that turn in life that is so typical of his age: re-adjusting his priorities, letting go of the very normal self-centeredness of adolescence, thinking more about others (especially his family members), and taking time to be with them – with me in this case.

He caught me up on his classes and his friends and I unapologetically gave him advice on his driving (he’s an excellent driver, but I’m still his father!). We talked sports, of course, and about other family members. He didn’t even complain when one store didn’t have what I needed and we added another stop to the trip.

When I got back to work, it felt like I had been gone for a day. I was grateful for the time with my unique, sometimes difficult, but very gifted son.

And seriously, I thought to myself, how many 20-year-olds are able to truly appreciate the off-beat genius of the “Chopsticks” part of “Blinded by the Light”?


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