I tiptoed into the kitchen a little after 6am to grab a quick breakfast before waking Matthew. He’d been home for a week long summer break, and would be heading back to Camphill California near Santa Cruz, where he lives and works.
“I’m ready,” Matthew said, and I jumped. He was fully dressed and shaved, a small drop off blood dripping down his chin. He had already packed and loaded the car. We could have breakfast at Peet’s Coffee, he told me, and we could beat the traffic.
It had actually been a very nice week. I had worried, because he was the only one of my three sons home that week, and now that Matthew is 28, most of the friends he has spent time with in years past were either working or were on a vacations of their own.
But he’d kept busy doing garden work, working on house projects and shooting pool at the local bar with his dad. He said it would be fine if I took him bowling (he bowls, I watch as if I am a random woman passing time at the bowling alley) but that he was too old to hang out with his mother.
With warm cups of coffee, hot chocolate and cinnamon twists, we started the hour and half drive talking little and listening to the Beatles. Just as we headed up the winding grade of the Santa Cruz mountains, Matthew told me he might not get married, but that he would like a nice girlfriend. He seemed confident that he could find one, and said that he needed to learn how to get along with girls, to be calm, and not to yell around them.
I nodded casually, feeling anything but casual inside. This was first time I had heard him talk about this topic so hopefully and logically, and without specifying that the girl had to be “hot.”
“You are so smart, Matthew,” I said, “You are funny and nice, and fun to be with. Girls like that.”
“I know,” he said, his brown eyes shining,” and if I was boyfriend and girlfriend with someone, I would want it to be like Dave who works with me at Camphill. Dave and his girlfriend get along really well and cook dinners together, and go to cool places and are so happy. But do you want to know the best thing of all? You have to guess.”
I have guess? Did it have to do with sleeping, or some such topic?
“The best thing Dave and his girlfriend have an Ace Hardware Rewards Card together,” said Matthew, grinning like he’d shared the secret to true and long-lasting love.”Isn’t that nice?”
There was a time when I thought that I could help cultivate friendships–and more–for Matthew. I didn’t believe he could do it himself. But Matthew has his own timetable.
And I have a hunch that there is a nice young woman out there who has an Ace Rewards Card in her future.
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