Last week my Dad drove down from Boston, on his motorcycle again, at 72, despite having broken his neck a little over a year ago.
This act of sheer ballsiness shamed me into getting my own bike up and running again. It wasn't a huge project. I needed to actually order the new battery I'd put off and go get an oil filter. I didn't expect much. The bike hasn't run for quite a while. But with an oil change and some elbow grease, she fired right up. I spent a few hours cleaning her up and helping my Dad change the oil on his Honda Pacific Coast.
The experience was very strange for me. My parents were divorced when I was quite young, my brother went to life with my Dad while I was raised by my Mom and her second husband (who had his own son). But they eventually divorced when I entered Jr. High. As such, I never really had any of those father/son moments as I hit my teen years. My Mom, bless her heart, was amazingly cool with my strange hobbies and friends and did a great job as a single parent. And I learned to travel and to appreciate history and many other subjects from Jack Ellis, my Big Brother (Mentoring program). But he was more of a kindly Uncle or Grandfather figure. I just seemed to miss out on that special kind of cool bonding that some kids get with their Dad. And to tell the truth I'm sorry I did now.
I have never looked back at my childhood and regretted much of anything. I had a roof over my head, clothes, an allowance. I wasn't abused. Things were, for me, pretty good. But some of these kinds of moments would have been pretty nice too. I'm glad I had the chance to share one, even if it did take a while to happen.
So when we sat in the shop talking and working on our bikes it took me a while to even recognize we were having one of those special moments.