Wednesdays are a different day for me because my schedule alters just a bit in the wee morning hours. Generally, I wake up around 7-ish. Sometimes with an alarm clock (7:20), sometimes not. On Wednesdays I get up at 6:30 so that I can make a cake delivery to Uwharrie Mercantile for Mia so that she doesn't have to. It's usually in these early morning hours that my deeper thoughts slither through the webs of my sleepy brain and make me focus on things I wouldn't have normally put much emphasis on.

This morning my son, 8, suddenly started aging by the second. "How will he be when he's 16?" "Will he be able to find a job?" "Will he be able to get in to the early college?" "What's he going to do and who is he going to hang out with?" See, I grew up in a town with sidewalks and many of my school friends were within blocks of one another. If I called them on the phone, it was to see if they were at home before I walked the four or five blocks up hill to their house. Jobs were easier to come by for teens in the 1980s too. Grocery stores and fast food was the place to be as a teenage. You could get a job, make some money, and hang out with friends in the same parking lot (or close) when you got off. Now the world is different. Nobody wants to work those jobs, and the ones that do aren't held accountable for their work. I hear others say that kids don't want to work or don't care. I personally believe that's true but management isn't what it used to be because THEY don't care. Either way, I digress. When I arrived home, I talked over my concerns with my wife and she brought me back to reality. He's 8. It'll be okay. Let him be 8. Whew.

But wait, I'm 52. Where are all my friends? I mean, I have good friends, don't get me wrong. Many don't live in my neighborhood, or even town. I'm talking about the ones that I was the closest too just a few years ago and then, poof, they're gone. I look back at days that I would speak to some of them on a daily basis about nothing or everything. Guys that I would have dropped what I was doing the minute they said, "Help" and started their way, and I'm pretty sure they would have done the same. Slowly, something happened. What? I don't know. Covid? Politics? I have no idea. I would have thought things were stronger than that. But life happens. Friendships fade in and out, like shadows shifting with the sun.

Regardless of the clicks of time, there is one constant. God. I was brought in to this world by a God loving mother and raised in church. While the appearance of church has changed, the true definition has been hewn into my very soul. Regardless of my dress code or appearance, God is always there. People may float in and out of my life, but God is always there. I'm thankful for His presence. I'm thankful, that regardless of how far I stray or turn my head from the true path, He is always there. He is there for me, my family, and yes, Asher. While I worry about how I raise my children, God is always there. God will direct my hands to assure that I'm leading my son in the right direction, all the while, under the watchful eye of my Father.