Thirty-one years ago…

Tired of turkey and dressing for dinner, my wife and I treated my mother to a supper of pizza a few days ago.

At the table next to us sat a family celebrating a child’s birthday.

After we ate, we spoke to the family and discovered they lived about 20 miles away from my wife and me in north Alabama.

Quite a coincidence, eating at the same restaurant 300 miles from home, it seemed.

Then, the grandmother at the table spoke up and said she recognised my mother who, as it turned out, had taught the 37-year old man with graying beard whose son’s birthday was sung by the pizza restaurant staff a few minutes before.

There we stood, watching a couple with a six-year young boy, recalling when the father was six 31 years before, under the tutelage of my mother.

On the ride home, my mother described what she remembered of the man when he was a boy — smart, skinny, shy — who is now an engineer working for our government’s military.

In our country, a popular phrase called “fiscal cliff” hangs in the air, with hints of government military cutbacks threatening to dampen celebrations of birthdays for little boys who depend on their parents’ government salaries to support local restaurants.

The “trickle down theory” is no longer popular but applies in many different ways, from the effect of a first grade teacher on a boy’s future to the effect of political wrangling on the income of restaurant workers.

The future is in our hands, which are the signs of the effects of the past.

Time is irrelevant.  Action is everything.

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