Phone Home

The Guideposts executive editor shares a phone call from his son in college.

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Sunday night Carol and I were putting the final touches on dinner—celery root soup and a beet salad—when the phone rang. Tim calling from college. 

“How’s it going?” I asked, conveying his answers as Carol set the table and sprinkled cheese on the salad. Midterms were coming up, music theory was really hard, Japanese history was interesting. I was about to ask him about rehearsals for Richard II when I heard a beep on the line.

“Just a second,” I told Tim, “there’s another call coming in...” 

“Hi, Dad,” I heard William’s cheerful voice. 

“Hey Will, could we call you back? Tim’s on the line.” 

“I’m at Macy’s,” he said, “and I’m trying to figure out what kind of coat to buy.” 

“Okay, Mom will call you back on her cell…Hey, Tim, are you still there? That was your brother. He’s shopping for coats at Macy’s. How’s the play coming along?” 

For the next 20 minutes, Carol was on one line and I was on the other, getting all the news. The soup got cold, the lettuce got warm, but who cared? Shakespeare and Japanese history and the virtues of camel’s hair vs. herringbone were much more interesting.

“Love you,” I said on my line in parting. “Love you,” Carol said on hers. Then we sat down for dinner and grace. 

“God, be with our kids,” I prayed. Seemed like God was watching over them pretty well already.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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