We ride home from church enjoying the Sunday afternoon sun through the windows. I put my hand over his and glance up at him, ” Hey sweet boy, will you take me for a ride this afternoon?” Of all the possibilities, including, “Do you know gas is $3.63 a gallon?” or ” I really want to watch the race” or “I want to take a nap” he answers, ‘Where do you want to go?”
He knows the answer before I tell him. I don’t really care, just somewhere in his beloved Putnam County. I let him pick the road. He knows them better than I, and he knows me well enough that he will pick one with rolling hills and grazing cattle, because I like it.
And so on a perfectly blissful Sunday afternoon, we take to the roads of Putnam County. While we meander the back roads, we talk about everything and nothing at all. Suddenly, we are young and 21. We are planning a future complete with a house in the country and a couple of sweet babies too, then I remember that we actually live in that house in the country and the babies are big girls now.
I look over at him, and he is a skinny kid with a full head of hair. He is smiling over at me. He sees a young girl, minus some lines around her eyes and a few pounds. But this afternoon, we are young and free. There is no talk of bills, or work. No, that is for another day. Today we laugh, soak in the brilliant sunshine and declare that this countryside is the most beautiful place in all the world. We turn the radio up and both sing to the sounds of some old country music song.
We don’t talk about our girls, or our future. Today is not for planning or dreaming, it is for being. And I love just being with him, this man who knows me better than I know myself. I ask him, ” Am I still your best friend?” He smiles and answers, “Of course you are!”
We make our way up the driveway. Time to be adults again. We will go inside and be mama and daddy. I will cook supper, and he will help. We will talk about bills, and take out the trash.
But when I hand him his supper, and lean over to kiss the top of his head, I hear him say “Thank you Baby” and it’s the voice of a young kid I fell in love with on the back roads of Putnam county.