I quit panicking when dad lit the barbecue around six-thirty on Sunday afternoons in the early 80s; Chicken or ribs or steak. My current event or book report was still due the next morning, but the charcoal smell meant it was time to throw the baseball around a bit or climb the treehouse for an orange to help dad add some citrus flavor.
I learned to catch dad’s curveball on Sunday evenings, it spun more than it curved. Jeff and I sometimes rode bikes and went off makeshift jumps before he went home to his mom’s for the week.
Just after dad declared the coals were ready and began scrubbing the grill, mom called that CHiPs was starting. We ran to the sliding glass door.
During the whole theme song, we ran around the living room riding pretend motorcycles and making wholly unrealistic motorcycle noises.
Around the second commercial break, dad brought the meat in, smoky and a little too salty. We turned the TV off and spent time as a family.
After dinner, I said goodbye to Jeff and got to work on my book report.
In my head, I was still riding a motorcycle and catching bad guys.
Zach likes to drive his truck around. His truck noises sound eerily familiar.