Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spending Time With My Kids

While I'm not proud to admit it, I don't spend a lot of time with my children. Either I'm studying, working, computing, or preparing for all the above. Really puts a crimp in relationships.

Today was completely different. After a good workout (400 calories, 40 minutes), a lunch shared, literally, with a dear friend, I drove one of my sons to the airport. He had to catch a 4:30 pm flight to New York, so we spent a good 30 minutes driving to LAX and talking about things.

When we got to the airport, there was a tremendous amount of police activity. But that was on the way out. On the way in, there's a "random" checkpoint, which I always get waved into when I'm driving the big Dodge Ram 250 van. Today was no exception.

After we rolled down the window on my son's side, the police officers, dressed like black ops, leaned in the van and told us it was a random stop. Don't ask me why, but I told him it wasn't, that I always get stopped in the van, and go ahead and check it out. Which they did - opened all the doors, looked under the seats, used a mirror to check underneath the van itself.

Then the officer asked me where I got the airplane seats in the back. When we bought our van, it was a used 8-seat commuter for the General Electric Company. That was definitely not enough for us, so our options were to either buy a bench seat ($500) or two used airplane seats ($100). We went the cheap route, and 10 years later they are still the most popular seats in the van.

After I dropped my son off at his airline, I spent the next 40 minutes in the parking lot we call the I-405 freeway. When I got home, I had a few minutes to spare before loading my other three kids in the van and heading out for dinner: kosher Subway with coupons.

Everybody got what they wanted, and it was an inexpensive treat. Afterwards, we all went to the library to check out books for the weekend. Thursday turned into family night, minus a few. It felt so good to all be together, like old times. Or the times before I decided to go back to school.

I'm gonna sleep great tonight.

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