Friday, August 5, 2011

No Time for the Corner Boys


Today the Missus and I are playing hooky from our respective gigs and spending the day at the Shore. Through a wonderful confluence of events - one might even call it serendipitous (if one wore a puffy shirt and warbled show tunes) - Mom is in-state from Florida and Rob is in-state from colorful Colorado at the same time.

While I know not whether we shall both of them in the same place at any point in time today, Margaret and I shall see both of them at some point during the day. It will be the first time I have seen Mom since she enjoyed the hospitality of Ocean Medical Center a couple of weeks back. It will be the first time I have seen Rob since he flew East on Monday and will be the only time I see him prior to his return flight on Sunday. On this trip East he and his traveling companion did not need airport transportation either coming or going and they have spent the week looking at one thing that one cannot see in Colorado, even from the peak of the highest mountain:

(In the interests of full disclosure I am compelled to point out that the photo above depicts sunrise over Asbury Park, which is not the stretch of sand on which Rob has been enjoying himself all week, but since the Atlantic Ocean comes ashore with equal ardor in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, it seemed appropriate to use it here.)

It is an odd thing I think - and not always an easy course to navigate as a parent - the relationship with one's children when they cease to be children. I know not how Mom figured it out with six of us. I have 1/3 the work and more often than not I am all thumbs. This week Rob came home but he did not come "home", which I guess saddened me at least a little. Initially anyway. After ruminating on it a bit I remembered that as people grow up things change and the focal point of one's day-to-day changes right along with them. It is as inevitable as the tide. And it alters and amends the landscape of a relationship in much the same way as the waves do the beach.

And it impacts the relationship whether one is a son's father or a mother's son. It works both ways. All that changes is one's point of view. Whether one is looking inward from the breakers or outward from the beach changes everything....

....all the while changing nothing very much at all. After all, regardless of the height of the wave or the amount of sand on the beach, while the relationship is malleable, it is also permanent. It is unbreakable.

I wonder if that is what Mr. Waits meant when he wrote that, "Down the Shore everything's all right"? Probably not. But it is a hell of tune nonetheless.

And it is a hell of a nice day to be in love with a Jersey Girl. Enjoy your Friday. I know I shall enjoy mine.


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