A moment in time occurred twenty years ago. A moment never forgotten by Rudy. A memory instilled within his soul of days long ago when he used to drop Roberto off at kindergarten.
Their morning started off, as usual, with Rudy helping Roberto dress, and feeding him a hearty breakfast. Something like cold cereal or a PopTart.™
After sitting in the car, cruising along for a mile or so, listening to music and chatting about living the life of a five year old, Rudy would pull the red two-door Honda hatchback up to the curb, next to the chain link fence, and state Okay, Buddy, which was Roberto’s cue to climb out of the car and walk through the kindergarten gate about ten yards away.
Dad don’t leave yet, Roberto cheerfully commanded.
Rudy always waited until Roberto made his way onto the kinder playground then he’d drive off, heading to work for the day. Yet, on that particular day, for the very first time, Roberto made a request, telling Rudy to stay where he was, in the motor-running car. Suddenly, there was Roberto, backpack dropped to the ground in front of his feet, his teeny-tiny fingers entwined through the links of the fence.
I love you, and drive careful! Roberto yelled to him.
From that day on, this endearing ritual found a place in their private world.
And I love you, Bud, Rudy responded, giving Roberto a thumbs-up. Then Roberto would grab his school bag and run off to play.