Last night during bedtime, my son was playing with my watch while I read to him from Boo Hoo Bird, a wonderful book by Jeremy Tankard. As I watched Alexander turn the watch over in his hands, I had a flash back.
It was September of 1988 and I was moving into a four bedroom house on Elm street in Ottawa with my cousin Rodney and two females I hadn't yet met, both friends he'd made the year before. It was my first year at Carleton University and my very first time moving away from home. It was a pretty big deal to this young man/boy from a small Northern Ontario town - terrifying, even, to consider that there would be more people in one of my first year classes than were in my entire high school just a few months earlier.
My Dad and I were carrying a dresser upstairs when the strap on my watch snapped from the friction.
The watch, with it's cheap plastic band, fell to the floor.
I sighed, watching it fall.
When we placed the furniture down at the top of the stairs, my Dad noticed my watch had broken. Without hesitating, he unsnapped the Timex watch off his own wrist and handed it to me.
I thanked him, put it on my wrist, and have worn the same watch ever since.
Okay, that's stretching it a bit. But I did start wearing my Dad's Timex watch with the metal strap back in 1988, and from that day forward, ended up using the built in alarm on it for my wake-up alarm. That particular watch is long dead, but I have since continued to replace it with similar Timex watches. I think I might be on the third generation of them by now, because I still use the same watch every single day -- my sleeping ear is perfectly tuned to the unique sound of the alarm.
Simply, it's my wake-up alarm no matter where I travel.
But, more importantly, it's like having a part of my dad with me at all times.
Twenty-two years later, I'm still symbolically "wearing the watch" my Dad gave me when I first moved out of the house. It's been a good way to keep him and his wisdom and spirit with me.
So, watching my son play with my watch made me flash back to what the watch meant to me; made me wonder at the marvelous circle of life.
Made me thankful for all that my Dad was to me and hope that I can be all those things to my own son.
But really, it's just a watch. Something you wear on your arm and tell time with.