On a Friday morning in September somewhere

I have come here to see my kid. Air BNB blankets gathered around my legs, the windows cracked. The time different, the sun not yet come up, all my things in the closet or my carry-on. It is different not seeing her, as it always is, but you notice the differences more the longer you go without seeing each other. It is the thing about elderly relatives and the shock of that first acknowledgment, we’re older now, the reunion. How Covid made it more pronounced. And with kids, how quickly they shed the kid parts and become grown-ups. But they are still your kids.

I have come here to see my kid at the prep school where they open their classrooms every few months so parents can look inside. Can talk to the teachers, roam the grounds, sign their kids out. I have met all her teachers, the program director, even the nurse, but today, a day they are planning workshops, I have opted instead to play hookie, to blow it all off in favor of spending the day with my kid, Lily. To peruse a box canyon in the northwest corner of Zion National Park. It is a splendid fall day on the seam of summer and the phone is paired to the rental car and we hardly have the time to scratch the surface of all the music we have to share. We will pack a lunch and walk the canyon out and back. We will talk about god knows what. There will be long stretches where we don’t talk in fact and it will not seem weird one bit. It is about the time together, the time that is not real but imagined, the being in each other’s proximity, perhaps a celebration of our own being by proximity to our loved ones. And maybe that is true family, a kind of garden, a plot of beautiful things we can tend to, to watch it grow.

I have rewatched the John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and understand now its quiet wisdom. That I should wake to life’s offerings because it goes by quick.

Look outside! Quick!



Categories: Memoir, writing

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16 replies

  1. One of the things I love about hiking is that talking is optional. I have so much trouble sustaining a conversation. It’s relaxing not to have to try. The other day, I read an first person essay in the paper about three young adults who recreated Farris’ day off. Did you know this is a popular thing to do? So much so that the group saw a different group doing the same thing on that day.

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    • I love the Ferris recreation theme! Did not know. And like what you said about hiking and not talking. And I will tell Zion you said hello this morning and think of you when we’re in that canyon old Hoss! Be well and thanks for reading, happy Friday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have *never* been to Zion. I’ve been to Bryce twice and Arches five or six times. For some reason, Zion never made the vacation cut. Possibly because of the crowds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I see! We are heading the NW corner, Kolob canyon, which is just 17 miles from where we are now and a lot less populated I’m told. Bryce-like too, which is spot on in my book. Hooknew?

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  2. We’re hoping to get to Utah for the first time next year. I’ll be interested to know how the Kolobs are, since Zion is the easiest park for us to get to.

    Have a great time with Lily!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I drove to Montreal with my son not long ago and was amazed at the conversational side roads we covered. I forget sometimes that they’re adults. It’s great to connect on that new level, eh? Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey yes! That exactly, like your trip to Montreal. Just got back and in the halo of this exquisite topography here, the Martian red rocks you know? Navajo sandstone is da’ bomb. Thanks for the kind note man.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve spent a little bit of time in that part of the country, as a kid and a summer while I was in college. The desert is a good place for a reunion, fewer distractions, stripped-down scenery and clear air (if nothing is on fire just then), sounds like an excellent and valuable time.

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    • Yeah cool Robert! Wow you and your camera out here…we’d never get you back in the car right?! Stunning, I’m in the halo of the sublime now, those canyons and smells…so much goodness. Thanks for the kind note. Enjoy your weekend my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. By the way, that sounds like a pretty awesome place to go to school. Is she generally happy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes in fact she is! It’s a great place for sure. They are on a level system, meaning students get extended privileges for good behavior (aka keeping their noses clean) with independent living options for those who hit the highest level, which she’s aspiring to do. A bit of pre-college life while still in high school. Really glad we found this program. Most students have come from treatment centers and/or wilderness interventions.

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  6. Childhood goes by so fast but I’m glad you’re taking this opportunity with your kid to be a kid yourself, to stop and look around together. It’s hard at any age to do that.

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  7. Interesting you mentioned Ferris. My wife and I have been introducing the kiddos to 80s movies and that was one of them. They actually liked it enough to watch it again on their own, of their own choosing. A lot of those 80s movies have a similar kind of buck-the-system, seize-the-day kind of theme like Ferris, e.g., Dead Poets Society, Breakfast Club, etc. I’m sure there are others I’m not thinking of. And others that do something different. But it’s quizzical to think about.

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    • I see John Hughes films in a new light now. And that Ferris film is lovely; was really wholesome for me to watch it with Charlotte recently. Touching to think your kids are doing the same! That’s super cool man, and thank you for sharing.

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