The wife and I love summers in Ohio, lots of sunny skies, warm temps, blooming gardens, and random visits from our adult children.
Our first random visit was from the son last June. Due to other commitments, our wonderful daughter-in-law was unable to accompany him home.
“So what do you want to do, son?” I asked him when he arrived.
“I just want to chill,” he said. “I want to hang out around the pool, do some barbecue, eat some good old Ohio sweet corn, and maybe hit a brewery or two. My life has been so hectic at work, that I really need this weekend to recharge.”
And that is just what we did. He was so impressed with his old hometown, from its vibrant downtown, to the Firefly Nights Festival, hitting his favorite restaurants, and even the new bourbon bar in town. Who would have thought 40 years ago when he came into this world that we would be tasting bourbon together and talking about life? We had an awesome random visit.
The second random visit this summer came from the daughter and granddaughters in July. A home addition project kept our awesome son-in-law home for consulting purposes.
“So, what do you want to do while you’re home?” I asked the daughter.
“I just want to chill, Dad,” she said. “With all of the girls swimming, volleyball and gymnastic activities, and getting ready to teach another school year, I just need to stop and take a breath.”
And that’s what we did. We hung out in the yard, at the pool, and hiked some parks. We took a boat ride on the Maumee to see the nation’s largest mural on the grain elevators. We visited high school friends, played with neighbor kids, and even got in a few board games.
Both of our random visits were special in that parents don’t often get a chance to spend one-on-one time with their adult children. It’s special because you get a sense of that nuclear family you once were. You feel that warm, tingly connection that you know is always there, but gets blurred in the hectic pace of family life.
With both visits, all of our days ended the same way, watching a fire burn in the fire pit, sharing stories of their childhood (which the granddaughters love to hear), making plans for the future, and just getting quiet until one by one, family members go off to bed.
“This has been an awesome summer, hasn’t it?” the wife said as we sat in the backyard pavilion. “I love it that our children still love to come home to the town they were born in, the house they grew up in. It makes me happier than anything I can imagine.”
“It is pretty awesome,” I said. “We must have done something right; I mean they’re still talking to us. And it’s so cool that they come home to decompress, that they find comfort in being here.”
There is a little expression that the wife and I use daily, “Blessed beyond belief,” or our shorter version, “Triple B.”
Looking at one another by the fire we both said simultaneously … “Triple B.”
Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at [email protected]