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Cheese for His Birthday

Fri, 1 Oct 2010, 10:15 AM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

Cheese. We sent him cheese for his twentieth birthday. Cheese made in Texas. The fair and industrious Trudy handled all the details and packed it in an insulated box, cooled down and shipped by a FedEx friend who knows how to do things like this.

He’s far away at school. And he likes cheese. And … you know … college students are always hungry. So we thought it would be the perfect thing to send. But we needed to let him know we sent it, so that he would pick it up while it was still cool.

Trudy called him. And texted him. And called. And emailed. And texted again. I called. And emailed. … crickets.

Then I called again, late one night from a hotel room in Orlando, thinking I’d give him one more try.

“Hi Dad,” he said in a hurried voice. “Sorry I haven’t been returning your calls. It’s been crazy busy today, and I’m in a meeting right now. Can I call you back?”

“Sure,” I said. And I picked up a book and got in bed and waited. And waited. And decided to turn the light off and just wake up when he called. But the call never came, and I woke up the next morning and packed to go home.

While I was waiting at the airport we finally connected, and he explained what he’d been up to and what was keeping him so busy and how he’d gone to get the package the day before but forgot his ID and how it was the end of the day so he’d have to get it tomorrow.

“Ok, but get it tomorrow or it might spoil,” I said. “Do you want me to tell you what it is?”

“No, it can be a surprise.”

So the next day he picked up the cheese from the mail room. He said it was still cool when he opened the package and that he had put it in a refrigerator.

That was last week.

Two days ago, we talked to him on the phone. He talked about his classes. And a lecture he’d gone to. And about his co-op board retreat. And about the birthday party his friends threw for him. He talked so fast about so many things that our faces were sore from smiling after being on the phone for an hour.

“And have you had any of the cheese?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “I really need to have some.”


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