Dad’s Uber: On Duty

Image by Rodolfo Clix via Pexels.

I took another swig of coffee. My eyes were bloodshot, and I shifted in my seat again, but I still had two hours of driving. When I came to a rest stop, I pulled over and got out of my car to stretch my legs. When I felt better, I got back in and finished the journey.

My son had come home for spring break. In between visits with friends, my wife and I had him to ourselves for a whole week. It was great to catch up and chat with him about his first year of college. We were sad to see him go, but he’s loving college and doing great. He’s where he needs to be.

When it came time to return to school, he could have gotten a ride back with friends from school, but asked if I would take him. He wanted to try to get rid of some winter clothes and things that were piling up on his dorm floor. He said that if he was able to clear out some things, he’d feel better going into the final weeks of the semester. I considered taking the easy way out. My wife wouldn’t be able to make the drive, so I would be on my own, and the drive is a long one. I would need to drive from one end of Pennsylvania to the other and, round trip, the drive would take more than eight hours. I couldn’t help but think about all the ways I could spend my time if I stayed home. Heck, I’m always looking for extra writing time.

In the driver’s seat

I reluctantly told him to call his friend to get a ride. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, though, I regretted them. I remembered the day things stopped. What I mean is: I remembered when my son got his driver’s license in high school and didn’t need us anymore to drop him off or pick him up and serve as his personal Uber driver.

When you consider his older brother and sister, we had been taxing someone around for close to 15 years. When my wife and I didn’t have to do our best impersonation of a taxi driver, we got to enjoy our evenings again.

We even got to eat quiet dinners together. 

But you know what? We missed it. I know I did. I missed picking him up from school or marching band practice. He might have gotten into the car grumpy and tired, especially after a long practice, but I got to hear things straight from the horse’s mouth. You got to see his visceral reaction to the question. You got to see him let his guard down and talk about his day. You got to hear him talk about his friends, the test he was worried about in school, or whatever was on his mind.

Image by Tim Samuel via Pexels.

Driving home

As parents, you get a front row seat to important life events. Oh, you get to see the first steps and first words and those are amazing once-in-a-lifetime moments, but it also means that your kids are soon independent and don’t need put down for a nap or placed in a car seat. The thing nobody tells you is that a big part of the job is overcoming some of childhood’s most touching “final or last moments” including:

  • The last time your child asks you to snuggle.
  • The last day you get to rock your child to sleep.
  • The last day of holding your kid’s hands when you cross the street together.
  • The last time your child waves goodbye to you from the school bus.

I remember each of those “last times” with my kids with a strange mixture of happiness and sadness. They come out of nowhere and disappear in a fleeting second. You don’t know that they’re the last, but you miss them when they’re gone.

With those memories running through my head, of course, I changed my mind and told my son, “No, no, I’ll take you, I’ll drive you. I got you, no problems.” He was fine either way, but I felt much better with my decision.

The time will come when he’ll have his own car and doesn’t need me. Until then, if he’s still asking, I’m going to be there for him.


Thank you for reading. Please join in on the discussion on the HoTM site. In addition, please visit my personal blog at or follow me on Instagram at @writingfromtheheartwithbrian.

All the best, Brian.

38 thoughts on “Dad’s Uber: On Duty

  1. Love every bit of this post, Brian…you really got me with the bittersweet memories of all those ‘last times’…especially the aspect of not knowing when we’re in the midst of one. Thanks for sharing. 🥰🥰🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess I need to start doing what Julia suggests and savor the moment! I love that advice but I’m sure my son will give me a hard time about it. “Dad, you don’t need to write a blog about how much you love me each day of my summer vacation!” Oh, I can just see his complaints! Ha, ha. Thanks for the feedback Vicki

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, my warning to the Peanut Gallery is going to be . . . hush up or I’m taking over your bedroom to use as my new more spacious office! Maybe I’ll threaten to turn it into my very own podcasting/video studio. Ha, ha. I like that idea, but he’ll know I’m teasing. Anyway, thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, I think I surprised my son when I agreed to drive him. I think he thought I lost my mind. Ha, ha. “Lasts” are tough. When the kids were young, I think I took those last moments for granted. There’s no going back though. Love how you phrased it too Todd. All the more annoying that they’re a cliche. You need to return to that blog and give an update. How does it feel four years removed? Thanks so much for feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe it’s a function of age, but most of my last-time memories with my daughter have faded off into the sunset. Instead, now I savor every last-time moment with her and my grown grandchildren as if each one is the last. Each moment is a treasure.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You captured the twin elements of these poignant moments, Brian — the sweet sorrow of last times from a parent’s point of view and the memories you helped create for your son and yourself. The memories implanted now will carry him long after you are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could have used your help with the phrasing Dr. Stein!!! I love how you phrase it: “the twin elements of these poignant moments.” I think I described it as a happy and sad moment. I hate that simplicity. I was playing around with “melancholy” but that didn’t seem to sum it up well. It really is twin feelings. Yes, I feel fortunate. He was very appreciative that I drove him back. I didn’t do it for that reason, but it certainly made the four-hour drive home fly much faster. Thanks so much for the feedback!


      1. Thank you, Brian. I lived it too — with two kids. Sometimes a backward look helps us put the experience together. It is great that he still wants to spend time with you, which also says something good about you as the dad.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Poignant post about find memories of our children I too cherish Brian. Thanks for reviving them.
    The good news . . . these ‘last time’s memories will one day become ‘foever time’s reality together someday with them, and Him.
    Be blessed brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Fred, I appreciate it. My son was very appreciative. It was great spending some extra time with him. I’m just glad I’m in position to help him. I know it was tougher on my own father back in the day finding the time. I’m very grateful.


  5. This is so powerful, Brian. While I don’t yet have kids myself, I’ve heard so many parent friends express similar sentiments. They’re so caught up in the business that they don’t realize, nor cherish, what turns out to be the last snuggle, piggyback ride, or request for help reaching something. I don’t think you’ll ever regret driving your son back to school, despite the long drive and weary eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s probably a little late for me to be cherishing these “last moments”! Ha, ha, my two oldest kids are in their 20s and my youngest is a freshman in college, but, hey, I’ve never regretted any of the time I’ve spent with them. It was funny seeing my son’s reaction. I think I caught him off-guard. I think he was a little surprised that I said yes. But, it really was great just hanging with him. Thanks for the feedback. Really means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Not having any children, I don’t relate as well as some of your other readers, but your post was so clear and honest I got a good sense of what you’re writing about. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m just going to go with the comment I made on your personal blog Brian because I’ve started crying for reals as I read this. With a lot of final moments coming in the next few months your words are hitting hard as I read them. This is a lovely, poignant and heartbreaking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks Deb. I really appreciate hearing that it touched you. And more importantly, enjoy those final moments. Drink them up. If you’re able, here’s a suggestion that helped me. A couple of years ago, my daughter was getting ready to graduate from college, our oldest son was graduating from boot camp, and our youngest was entering his final couple of years of high school. When we were all finally together one last time, I made sure we all spent time together on our deck. It was nothing extraordinary. We were just chilling/relaxing/teasing each other, but I come back to that moment often. It’s a mental snapshot that reminds of what’s important. Enjoy your moments.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, oh, oh – you hit me where I live – in such a beautiful way, Brian. I love that you changed your mind and did the drive. It feels like such a great way to extend the moment!! Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s awesome Wynne! I’m so glad you liked it. I kept going back and forth in my head. I was even making fun of myself on the way home. But, it was pretty neat when I got home and texted him that I made it. He was pretty grateful. Just glad I could help him!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You bring up a great question. My kids are familiar with my blog. They like it but I can’t say they follow it too closely. I’m not even sure they’re aware that I have my blog and am also writing on Heart of The Matter. I think they view it “as dad’s thing.” That’s okay, that’s fine. I’m just glad that my son was grateful and appreciative of me driving him!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m in the same position as Belinda. I loved reading your post and your sharing of your precious moments. Not having my own kids, it’s something I missed out on, but it’s nice to share vicariously through you and othe others who write about their families.

    Liked by 1 person

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