It’s a strange being<br>all alone with no kid

It was about 10:30 when I got home from the Rotary Holiday Dinner Dance Saturday night.

After clicking on the living room light, I went straight to the bedroom to get out of the "good clothes." It's funny, the good clothes are never very comfortable, I mean compared to sweatpants and a T-shirt.

The music from the band was still pounding in my ears, so I grabbed the Advil and some water before sitting down in my chair to rewind the VCR and watch the football game I had taped.

Actually, earlier in the evening, I had been running back and forth between my dinner, newspaper duties and the El Tovar lounge where the football game was on. So, I already knew who won, but I still wanted to watch the game as a method of relaxing.

Being a parent of a 6-year-old, it can be difficult to find those moments — sitting at home alone ergonomically incorrect in my recliner. I thought I was going to enjoy my evening of solitude, but I couldn't stop thinking about the kid.

You see, Brandon was down in Williams with his favorite person in the world, Connie. And Saturday night, Williams staged its annual Parade of Lights.

Connie got Brandon a pretty good gig in this parade. She's one of those people involved in everything, and sure enough, she helped with the Williams Ambassadors float for the parade.

Brandon was one of the kids out front, dressed up in some sort of Christmas outfit, complete with reindeer antlers. I believe he was one of the reindeer for Santa's sleigh.

This same child who tells me he's tired after we've walked around in the grocery store for only five minutes apparently walked down Route 66 through most of Williams, showing no signs of fatigue at all.

Marching in a parade is obviously a lot more fun than shopping with dad.

Anyway, it was one of those moments I missed, and I felt a little down about it.

Slipping further and further down in my chair, I had the urge to call Brandon to find out how his parade experience went. But it was 10:45, was he asleep yet?

Then I remembered — he's with Connie. He never gets to sleep before midnight when he stays over at her house, he always too excited. As for Connie, I'm not sure if she ever sleeps.

So, I dialed the number. Comically, Brandon actually answered the phone and I asked for Connie. I didn't recognize my own son's voice. It must have been the ringing ears.

Connie told me all about the parade and then she put Brandon back on. He was very happy to be at her house, drinking hot chocolate and playing with one of his friends who was also staying over with Connie that night.

It must have been cool marching in a parade. I never dressed up and walked down main street in a parade when I was a kid.

My closest experience to that was back in high school, one day after I had forked over $400 for my '61 Falcon. I got in line for a parade just to see if they would actually let me in. They did. My friends ran into a nearby store to buy candy so they could throw it out the window on the parade route.

Nobody figured out I wasn't supposed to be in there until I reached the judge's stand and had no entry number on the car.

Brandon had a good time in the parade and I had a pretty good time at the dinner dance. The salmon was good, it's kind of cool to see National Park Service people out of those uniforms and dressed up and the right team won the football game.

To top it off, Pete Shearer won the community leader of the year award, a person very deserving of that honor.

Still, when the phone call ended and after I had fast-forwarded through the football game, the house was quiet.

It was too quiet. I couldn't sleep. I got out of bed, wrote the page one story about Pete, drank some egg nog, went back to bed.

Finally, I turned the TV to CNN to get caught up on the war and that helped me get to sleep.

It's a funny thing. I was a bachelor living alone for 12 years before getting married. Those days seem so distant, it was a different life.

Now it's strange being in the house all alone with no kid. Life's funny.

(Brad Fuqua is editor of the Grand Canyon News).

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