Christmas In June

I’m 55 years old. Got two kids in high school and another in college, with a wife of 22 years. I own a house, have a 23 year long career as a middle school teacher, and am now dealing with the logistics of elderly parents who live 1250 miles away.

Those are grown up numbers.

Numbers reflective of a guy in the throws of middle age. Numbers that would tell someone else looking at them, maybe someone younger, that controlled emotion is a given. Numbers that would leave you to believe this person has a level of maturity to survive most drama or problems that come their way. Numbers that suggest a simple, even keel approach to life.

However, the night before Guys Fishing Weekend brings with it an uncontrollable bundle of wrapped up emotional chaos which regularly results in a sleepless night. A GREAT sleepless night!

“Giddy, like a school girl.” That’s the best way to describe it. It’s like I’m 10 years old again on Christmas Eve, and my parents just made me and my two older brothers go to bed after our sales pitch to open “just one present” fell on deaf ears. We would retire to our rooms, well knowing that sleep wasn’t coming any time soon. We would stay up, bullshitting about the usual stuff and trying to predict and guess what was under the tree.

There was a joy and happiness brewing, like a volcano ready to explode. It was so hard to contain and would happen every year. You knew what was coming, and yet, the ability to control the emotions was feudal. The excitement was so palpable. It was awesome! Looking back now, why would you even try or want to control it?

I don’t.

At 55 years old, I don’t even try. Every year GFW Eve brings that same palpable excitement; only now, the “presents under the tree” are different. The gifts include a road trip in the company of 1-2 of my best friends, on the way to meet up with 3-4 of my other best friends. There are gifts of conversation, story telling, jokes, laughter, solving life’s problems, solving the worlds problems, and the unknown of what new adventures lie ahead of us. Kind of like that scene from the movie Stand By Me, when four young teenage boys are sitting around the fire on their quest to see a dead body, contemplating serious philosophical life questions…”One food for the rest of my life? That’s easy. Pez, cherry flavor Pez!”

GFW Eve provides the unmatched anticipation for the gift of a long weekend of total escape from my middle age life. Four days of fishing, goofing, talking and philosophizing with my dearest and best friends in the world, often acting like we were 13 again.

I still can’t control the happy anxiousness that GFW Eve brings, and just like that 10 year old boy waiting for Santa…I don’t want to.

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