Missing: 30 Years
By John R. Greenwood
Where did the last thirty years go? It seemed to vanish into thin air? With it went two little boys. Two young sons who battered my garage with hockey pucks and stray basketball shots. Two active boys who left me with dent peppered aluminum siding and fond memories. Corners of my attic hold dry boxes of cherished remnants and Star Wars leftovers. It’s a constant reminder of my boys; now two grown men with sprouting families of their own. It stops me in my tracks.
I pine for the days when they would push me to the brink and I would snap and threaten their precious little lives. I miss the mischievous adventures and misadventures. It’s the thought of that relentless backseat poking and antagonizing that keeps that period of my life vivid and dear to my heart. Fidgety boys with endless energy and no regard for a parent’s mental well being. Yes, my heart aches for it. They were a joy and a journey. I would repeat it first thing in the morning if I could.
Last weekend as I was putting away my tree planting gear in the tool shed I noticed some thirty year old artifacts nestled on a ledge in the back. Some 1980 reminders of dirty faced boys with untied sneakers and grubby knees. Polite little boys in their Dukes of Hazzard t-shirts. They would charge in the back door, hot dog hungry and Kool-Aid thirsty. Two great kids who enriched my life and carried on the family name of my father and fathers before.
One hundred photographs passed before my eyes. Pictures of babies on picnic tables in state parks. Pictures of blanket wrapped toddlers sound asleep in squeaky wheeled strollers. Pictures of fun-parks, ballgames, and elementary school graduations. Visions of boys on red bikes, green plastic tractors, and my old white milk truck parked in the shade. I am swarmed by the priceless recollections of two warmhearted boys. If I had one last wish it would be to take them back to the county fair and walk them down the midway for one more round on circling helicopters and bell ringing boats.
I am not sad. I am blessed. I am thankful I was given the privilege of children and the joy of fatherhood. Not everyone is that fortunate. I miss my boys. I wish them the same joy.