My son’s a nice enough kid, I suppose, flaky as all get-out, but a hard worker when he sets his mind to something, which is the problem. I offered him a way into the business, but he never cracked the binder. Plus, he qualified for military officer training, but he went kamikaze on his interview. Yeah. Seemed proud of it. I’m taking him to colleges for campus visits with admissions workers, anybody we can get. We never go without a name. I see to that. He handles himself well, I have to admit. He knows just how to talk to that whole crowd. I’m sure they’d all be happy to take his tuition, but we’re looking for scholarships, so it helps that they think he’s smart. They ask about his background, which I guess means they think he got good training at home. Go figure. We’re sharing a room when we travel overnight. Yeah, he’s in the room now, reading. No, I got this one. You get the next one. Tomorrow’s a big day: three campuses, one Ivy League, one right after the other. I set it up. But I was telling you about the bridge. Dad, he tells me, I haven’t thanked you for this trip. I told him, you know, it’s what dads do: superior dads. He asked me what I would want for him, you know?, what would I want him to be, if it was my choice: a college-boy question. I thought I had made that clear, but he wanted another answer. Exactly! Pursue your own dream; you must have kids, too. Or do whatever the hell you want to, I forget how I said it, but I didn’t look at him until we crossed the bridge and, when I did, I wish I hadn’t.

Copyright © September 24, 2007 David Hodges