I followed the sequence that the day presented to me. Got up. Ambled down to the kitchen to witness the teen eating scrambled eggs from a blue tin plate - slices of over-ripened melon suffocated the air. Poured coffee - black. Pulled the blinds. Opened the windows and glanced towards the garden. Gave thanks that it was yet another rain-free day. Wiped the counter top - out of habit. Wiggled my toes.
Well, I said, are you set?
The teen squirmed and took some egg on his fork but it wobbled and fell back down in slow motion onto the blue plate.
What time is the test again? I asked.
11.55 a.m. he said.
Oh, okay, I said, I'll light a candle to Buddha.
Oh, yeah, he says, will you ask me some questions and hands me voluminous sheets of road rules and regulations of pelican crossings and penquin crossings and speeds and amber lights and stopping distances and tyre measurements and roundabouts and more distances and motorways and on and on it went and we trawl through the list and he answers them all correctly.
So this is it, I say. You're more than able.
Should I wear a sweater?, he says.
No. Grey Polo, I say.
Yeah, he says.
Kiss, Goodbye, Good luck. Love you. I say.
Off he goes. He is gone. Another notch of leaving and an hour later he calls me to tell me he passed and his voice is older all of a sudden. Like a man. And I still follow the sequence. My voice is the same. I take the lamb from the fridge and stab it with a skewer and rub in the fresh mint and rosemary and garlic from the garden and I put it into the oven to roast. I am celebrating. I know he wants nothing of it. We could be having bread and cheese for all he cares but still I go through with the motions because he has worked for this with his Dad, driving, stalling, stopping, moving on. Why, if there is anything at all to celebrate it is about where he is going in this life.
I do want to remind him that the road ahead is full of pot holes and crossroads, red lights and green if you happen to be lucky but he has to find that out for himself. And sometimes the sequence we plan to follow is not always the one we planned on when we first set out.
But I don't say anything like that. Of course I don't. I know he will find that out for himself on the road he chooses to follow and so I smile and hug him and tell him he's great and raise my glass to yet another milestone on the journey we call life.