About thimageree hours before reaching our home, my son and I experienced the vacationer’s nightmare: the dreaded flat tire. Complicating the situation was that the flat tire occurred as I exited the highway with a towed boat trailer. Now, most of you are probably saying: “Boy, that stinks.”

And you would be right, especially because the rain decided to contribute to our circumstance.

As I took a deep breath, no doubt holding back some seldom used words, a notion came to mind that this would be part of my son’s “right of passage.” It must be written somewhere that when boys evolve to men, a necessary passage is changing a flat tire. While there are multiple events, current and future, that will occur in my son’s journey to manhood, changing a flat tire is probably not top on his list.

With good cheer, we discussed what had occurred and what was required to lift the occupied trailer and replace the punctured tire. After a trip to the local auto parts store, all while Jared remained our sentry protecting boat and trailer, I returned with the necessary tools.

We discussed how to loosen the lug nuts first before jacking the deflated tire. Importantly where to place our hands on the new tire was next discussed, avoiding broken or amputated fingers should the jack disobey as the new tire is hoisted into place.

With the wheel lifted into its dutiful position, I remained thankful for this opportunity to pass along some necessary skills that my son would need in the years ahead. In a moment of natural reflection, I thought of all the lessons Alan and Lawrie, my adoptive dad and father-in-law, had shared with me through my journey to manhood. These lessons truly remain my wheel of fortune.