Columbus Day. Not much of an event on the West Coast, but here in NYC it feels like more than just another day without mail service. Perhaps it’s the annual parade midtown, or the extra sprinkle of Sinatra on the radio in honor of Italian American pride, but there is a tinge of festivity to the day. (Although there was nothing festive about the Columbus Day protests I saw while in college here in the City. I remember touring perspective students and their parents past a burning effigy of Columbus on the library steps.)
Still, burning effigies aside, it was a sunny fall day and I suspect Bennett sensed the air of celebration because he woke up “sick” this morning. I got talked into letting him rest for an extra hour or so, and he really had me going because I experienced mild pangs of guilt when I yanked his weary body out of bed at ten and drove him to school.
And then I remembered. Honestly, I’m ashamed that I even forgot.
Less than 36 hours earlier I did something I can’t believe someone hadn’t done before.
I introduced Bennett to Ferris Bueller.
I’ll never forget the look of recognition and awe that spread across his face and stayed there for the entire movie. All the pranks and all the shtick that have gotten him into hot water were not only celebrated, they were COOL. (I didn’t want to show him a picture of Matthew Broderick now; the pain of middle age is too much for the young mind.) And while I watched him watch Ferris, I thought: “I will never forget this moment. This is wonderful, even though I know I’m going to pay for it.”
And then I promptly forgot. Because a day and a half later, I got Buellered. Stomach cramps, my ass. He just wanted a day off. Monday morning. The postal workers are in bed, why shouldn’t he be?
I have been kicking myself all day. When I finally figured it out and asked him if he’d Buellered me, he just winked. Winked. Like I was the school secretary.
I’m just lucky he didn’t make his way to the parade.