Friday, 22 January 2010

bye, coach

Kid memories are amazing. I was driving down Cobourg's main street with Ed the other day, on the way to his music lesson, when he turned very casually and said, So when can you get Miriam's car?
What do you mean?
I asked.
Remember when you said that you could probably borrow Miriam's car if I wanted to use it for my driving test?
(Footnote here for those of you without a sixteen-year-old at home. Driving testers -- the guys who sit beside you in the car and make little ticks on the testing form, and have no sense of humour as I know from bitter experience -- unlike the Dutch folks who came up with the picture here -- those guys finished a long strike about a week ago. Ed can finally take his test. He has a date booked next week. Still in the footnote, Ed loves driving my beat-up old Toyota, but it has a crack in the windshield which I will have to get to one of these millenia, and you are not allowed to take your test in a car with a cracked windshield. Miriam's car has no crack. It was, however, in Toronto.)
Yeah, I remember, I said.
Kid memories. The car conversation took place weeks ago. Ed has not called Nana to thank her for his birthday present, and I remind him daily.
Well, I want to try her car.
I said. I'll ask Miriam.
Can you do it now? I need the car for tomorrow.
The test is Tuesday, so I want to practice now. So can you get the car for me tomorrow?
We were at his music lesson now. Geez, Ed, I said. How about a little lead time? I wasn't going to go to Toronto tomorrow.
But you said you'd do it, Dad.

Well, I'm a sucker for keeping my word, and it was a chance to see Mir again. I picked up the car. After dinner Ed went upstairs to put on my long johns. Odd, I thought.
Okay, ready to go driving? I said.
Nah -- I'm off to Frederico's now,
he said.
Yeah. We're going to a movie. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?
But I got the car for you.
That's great! Thanks, Dad. I really appreciate it. But I have to go to the movies now. So we'll go driving tomorrow.
I had a brief nightmare vision of myself putting my foot down, insisting on Ed cancelling his movie with Frederico and practicing his driving NOW. I saw myself sitting beside him as we drove around town. In my vision my lips were pursed and I wore a grim, satisfied expression because I was teaching him ... something.
I shuddered. The nightmare passed.
Hey, how about calling Nana to say thank you?
He was already running downstairs. I'll do it tomorrow, he called over his shoulder. Remind me, okay?

Nothing to do with Ed, but I am feeling kind of bummed. Paul Quarrington died yesterday. One of the good guys.


Marilyn said...

Lots of depressing things in the news, and the weather doesn't help. The only thing you can do is eat or drink chocolate. Today I had a mocha from Starbucks with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top. That got the endorphins going. Going for a swim was good too. Which is healthier? I don't know.

Richard Scrimger said...

Chocolate, exercise ... both good. Alcohol works too.

Marilyn said...

A shot of Bailey's on ice, late at night, works wonders.