C, my younger son, J, and I had lunch today. He tries to cram a wealth of activities into his days off, so he schedules with a precision reminiscent of a satellite launch to the moon.

So the tense drama of today’s lunch began. We did rendezvous at the correct location. He talked about his advanced medical directive, that he wanted his executor to be a Republican. Somehow he thought he could get an absentee ballot cast after he was dead. I informed him that it didn’t work that way, at least in Virginia.

Next we moved on to his pending trip to Costa Rica for his cousin’s destination wedding in November. He thought as long as he was in the neighborhood, he could swing by Chile and Brazil. J and I informed him that South America is pretty big, unlike, say, dropping by Rhode Island and Connecticut while going to Massachusetts. He knows about maps. He knows about distance scales. Somehow applying the concepts to real life had yet to occur to him.

We enjoyed our time together. But I think defending a doctoral dissertation might be easier that lunch with C.