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The Boy Teacher and the Father Student #84 “The Long Way Home”

Updated on April 22, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Eric started working with children when he was still one himself. He taught first aid through Scouting. All the way to preaching to youth.

Just Along the Way Home

Not so easy.
Not so easy. | Source

Separate Paths, Same Destination

“Hey we are not in a hurry let’s take the long way home.” “Dad we always take the long way home. Let’s take the short way home and we can mess around more.” “But if we take the long way home we can spend more time walking and still mess around.” “OK dad you take the long way home and I will take the short way home.”

And so the two lives have the first significant chosen separation. Fair enough. We were speaking of about a half mile difference going it alone. A big deal for a ten year old. And a big deal for his father. Was this the beginning of the long way home for the boy in life, or as was his choice, the short way home. Time will tell but we can be assured they will not take the same trail home.

Yes that is a parable about a father and son. A true one. But it gives one time to ponder as that mile is covered. What is the “long”, what is the “way” and where or what is “home”. Perhaps we say “life is short”. Dad’s want it longer and boys are in a hurry no matter what.

So we have this deal with a scary virus and staying at home. We do not do morose here so the alternatives are basically happy. Sometimes “just flat” might be a reasonable description but not for long.

B: Dad this seems like a dream.

F: I think you are right sometimes.

B: What do you mean “sometimes”?

F: Oh, sorry, I mean sometimes it does seem like a dream these days. What day is it anyway?

B: I know it is Thursday because of my remote learning classes. Tomorrow is Friday because we have that remote classroom stuff.

F: Hey you know I stay out of homework as your mom is boss of that, but how is it going? I reviewed some of your stuff and it looks like important stuff to learn and you are on your game there.

B: I don’t really like it. Especially Monday, Wednesday and Friday when the whole class meets on line. It is pretty boring.

F: Maybe that is because you normally just play games on those things of yours.

B: It is an IPad dad. And a tablet. No it is just like school with no friends. It’s weird. And besides that it is too easy. Did you know that no matter how I do I get the same grade as last report card, how lame is that.

F: I thought that was just for adults to know. And good luck not improving with your mom as the teacher.

B: So? What is your point?

What is Going On?

One Path to Nowhere

Will it take us home?
Will it take us home? | Source


They say there will never be a normal like it was before. I hope that is wrong. We have spent countless lives and dollars and time since 1492 to get this gig down that we call normal. And we keep tweaking it and making it better. I don’t keep a progressive and conservative score card, the tug of war has worked just fine for over 240 years. It works just fine.

But the new normal will have pitfalls and yet much good will be incorporated. I have this tome of a book on the constitution. Text book for law schools on constitutional law. Over 100 cases analyzed and commentary by the big wigs in the area. I am a freak for the Amendments. We are now violating about 10 provisions therein. Assembly, religion and travel are in there and those are gone now. Seriously gone. But that gives us a learning area, dreadfully missing in most young boys’ lives.

F: So what do you think about not getting to?

B: Not getting to what?

F: That is part of the point.

B: Oh you mean like all of us going to the grocery store or going to the park or playing with friends or going to church and eating and playing with friends. Oh now I get it. Ya it sucks.

F: I still think that “sucks” is a bad word. Oh well I have to change with the times and get over it.

B: Dad we talked about that about 20 times, or are you so old you forgot?

F: OK but what do you think of it?

B: I like it better than being sick. Besides what am I going to do, play games 6ft away from someone? Soccer and kickball and basketball are out. Hey will we ever play sports on teams again?

F: Yep just “when?” is the only issue.

B: When?

F: You know when I say depends and you say depends on what. And I have to explain and you have solutions for everything.

B: Please no lecture. I get it, it depends on a lot of things, like how many are still sick. Hey what is it called when you spend money on something you know everyone will need and then you get rich?

F: Speculative investing.

Another Path

On the way.
On the way. | Source

Find Me

Memories in the Future

So buy shares in safety glasses. These are not mandated yet but soon they will be a mandatory suggestion. The virus can get you through your eyes. Nasty! I wear them now for just cruising around. But I have worn them for doing stuff for years, so not a biggie there, for me. My wife ordered some “polarized” glasses for me that change when going inside or into the glare.

Remember when they thought facemasks would make people think they were safe so they were not recommended. Then they determined they protected others. Now mandatory – good. We bought many from little old church ladies as a charity for food. The patterns and designs are a blast. They are a great equalizer in the area of best looking. Now you have to judge based on other things!

B: Hey dad you like your masks because you can mouth out bad language at people who don’t wear them. That is sick, I like it too.

F: I know it is wrong but…. Why not protect others by wearing a mask? And it does not rise to the elevation of being sick and twisted like those that do not wear masks.

B: Dad you are really out of it. Not sick like puking sick, like cool to the rule dude. I think that is how you talk.

F: So now I have to live with sucks and sick as normal words. I am not digging this at all.

B: So now you are going to throw dirt on it? hihihi

Words are a trip. We have these brand new phrases like social distancing. Part of our paradigm and lexicon. Isolation seems to be becoming into social norms and it used to be just for us wanna be composing artists or recluses. Now everyone is in on the act. I hear some do not like it.

F: What is your favorite part about staying home?

B: I don’t know. Maybe more time with mommy, she really is much nicer. I know that is not so good to say but she is not so ridged and she laughs a whole lot more. I caught her trying to do work though, even though they kicked her out of work. She is like me and gaming, she just can’t help it.

F: I reckon we will look back on this time with fondness. Hard to see it now but I can see the long game.

B: Ya, I am with you and I understand, like the hike in the Grand Canyon was really hard but I won’t forget how much fun it was.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mitara I am pleased you dropped by and left a note. A willingness on both our parts to grow is our essential ingredient.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      15 months ago from South Africa

      I enjoyed the dialogue, it is a two way street and always best expressed by hearing both sides to a story.

      Thanks for sharing Eric

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So fun Denise. My Daughters are tougher than my boys. I will do more of these on them. My two daughters are just down right hilarious.

      But, I know just how special this time with a boy is. I am still looking for an area he does not have an opinion on. I tried with Holy Mysteries but he has that down -- for now.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      15 months ago from Fresno CA

      I found my son to be far more chatty and argumentative than my 3 daughters. Your son reminds me of him as a kid. He always had a come-back to every statement. Maybe he will be a lawyer someday and argue important cases.



    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, with all the fun stuff I do and with a ten year old I do a lot. Writing is one of my favorite things to do. I hope it shows. Your compliment has me soaring, thanks.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      15 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      The lessons go on and on. I love the way you write. Thanks for sharing, Buddy!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks for your comment Devika. I truly think that those of us with land around us have at a whole lot better.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My heart was indeed racing. Deep breaths :-) Yes I hurried and even when down his path from the other direction. But I scooted out so he knew I wasn't freaking out. The roll of keeping him young is his mom's although you would not know it by all the homework she makes him do.

      We are not going all up about what we cannot do.

      Gabe helped giving me a hair cut yesterday.

      Thanks for your time in reading and leaving such an insightful comment.

      OK I admit it, I do not like sharing my kitchen it crimps my style.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like that song ''Somewhere over the Rainbow'' wish there was some light there. In Croatia from 27th can go out to shops but with precautions. We are allowed to go out to shops at the moment and have been at home daily. I live on the farm so its a lot easier to cope with. Form next week we can freely go about however, to keep our social distancing and wear gloves and masks.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      15 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I wonder, was your heart racing just a bit when you and Gabe took separate paths home? Did you quicken your pace so you would arrive at the same time? He wants so desperately to grow up, and you want him to remain 10, or 3. It’s that push-pull desire to see them thrive and grow but at the same time nostalgic for when they needed you more. Don’t worry, even if he feigns otherwise, he will always need you.

      As for our world changing, are we allowed to pick and choose? I don’t like the distancing; I’m a people-person and a hugger. But if we can hold onto a better appreciation of life, and show a little more love to the people in our lives that’s not a bad way to go. Maybe learning will be different; maybe parents will be more involved with the education of their children (as they should be). Maybe husbands and wives will open better lines of communication and have a better appreciation of what each one brings to the home, to the family, and their relationship.

      I know a few people who are moaning and complaining that they can’t get their nails done, or it’s their God-given right to be able to go fishing or attend a baseball game, that this is a conspiracy to keep all of us in check. But for the most part, people “get it.” Thanks for helping us see this from the right perspective.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Flourish I can promise, now that home schooling combined with remote learning will make some differences in his perspective. But he told me last night that he was a bit (not much mind you) cool with learning more than in school. Yesterday we did agriculture and horticulture.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      15 months ago from USA

      I like the question about what is your favorite part about staying home. I also think we will look back on this poignantly.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora perhaps I relate some of our conversations of "tenses". Past, present and future are so interesting and of course we do the "now, present, hope and already". Today what stinks might smell great in ten years and vice versa.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      15 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I like your title. It is impactful literally and metaphorically. And it will take some time before we have the honest answer to your question: "What is your favorite part about staying home?" Even you son may answer differently later on.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby we just had a technical crash on remote schooling. Poor boy now he gets tougher assignments from mom. Man that lady has energy. But he just scored 100% on vocabulary so dad is glad. Time for in home soccer practice.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Gabe is one smart kid and understands the idea of staying home better than some adults. Hopefully this virus thing will soon be over and we all can get back to living.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thank you for reading and commenting Pamela. Now we are in for troubled times as all the varient factors weigh in and insist they are right and their priority should be THE priority.

      But our system works real well so I have faith.

      Life for us will continue to be great compared to 75% of the world.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Your conversations with that precocious son are always interesting. He really is one smart boy. It is nice you are outside walking but keeping your distance from anyone. I think most areas of the country are probably ready to start work again on a limited basis at first.

      Take care and stay as healthy as possible!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A B I am growing concerned also. We adapt too easily sometimes. I think the new "models" are out and it is becoming clear that a lifting of most restrictions is now in order. My wife thinks the opposite. We may be too comfortable.

      With our child out of school it makes for another interesting issue when it is time to go back to work outside the home but not time for school yet.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for your great comment Ann. Those words that evolve from generation to generation are as interesting as the times. I think sick came from the world of pot smokers.

      I am gardening out front somewhat and the difference is noticeable in the greeting of folks walking by and all to the good.

      I will be thinking of these times for a long time it come.

      Your note on something in common makes sense to me. And made me think of "misery loves company".

    • abwilliams profile image

      A B Williams 

      15 months ago from Central Florida

      I think masks have a time and a place, but they are giving many a false sense of security. As for gloves, some around here think it's somehow cool to use them and then dispose of them in the parking lot of their local shopping center.

      I'm having a hard time conforming to these changes, but doing my part. I choose to do my part without masks and gloves, if, I find a situation I'm in, deems them necessary, then I will comply.

      Just ready to have this all behind us, so that we can begin to rebuild. Don't like people getting so comfortable with hunkering down indefinitely, don't like Government getting so comfortable in their stronghold over us.

      Great article Eric, you are building such precious memories with and for your son! Love it.

      Be well!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill what I just checked out on "The Point" looks real interesting. Never heard of it before. Thanks for the heads up.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      15 months ago from SW England

      This is an interesting conversation, Eric. That boy of yours is so smart! It's a dilemma, isn't it, at the moment? We have no idea how it's going to pan out. Many things have changed and I think some of those are good. Some will remain, I hope, but whatever happens I don't think anything will be the same again. Yes, we will go back to some of our activities but there will always be that thought in the background for me - am I safe? what comes next?

      Isn't it strange that social distancing has made us feel closer to many? We keep away whilst trying to help those we don't know. We shout to strangers from one side of the road to the other, because now we have something in common with them - they might even become friends.

      Sometimes it seems as though the whole world is upside down. My partner and I have become more isolated but we talk more to family and friends on a day-to-day basis - that's good!

      Thanks for making us think and get our heads round some of the words too. 'Sick' is one of those words I do not like either but I'm sure something worse will come along soon!


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Did you ever see a short animation film "The Point" by Harry Nillson? It was in the 80's I think. Anyway, if you can find a way, watch it. Me thinks you got to The Point with this father/son discussion. :)

      Hang in there, buddy. You may one day be as smart as that boy of yours.


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