It doesn’t matter if we’re talking clothes shopping, food shopping or — perhaps worst of all — simply window shopping, I despise it. I’d rather have my fingernails torn off with pliers. I’d sooner watch 24 full hours of Lifetime TV movies whilst chained to my basement floor. If I had a choice between shopping and being sexually assaulted by a well-endowed rhinoceros, I’d gladly take my chances with the beast.
Which is why I was more than a little surprised that Mother’s Day consisted of shopping at Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops and Staples — and it was one of the best days I’ve had in a very long time.
I’m willing to bet if you ask most parents to recall their happiest times, they’ll talk about the day their kids were born or the first time they smiled, talked and walked. Don’t get me wrong, those are all great moments and I remember them well. But when it’s time for me to think back on the times I remember most fondly, it won’t be those moments. Instead, it’ll be days like the one I had Sunday.
While driving from Staples to the Home Depot, I rolled down all the windows to enjoy the 75-degree, cloudless weather. First I looked at my wife — sunglasses on and hair flapping in the breeze — as she enjoyed the day. She’s so beautiful and the warm weather puts her at ease, bringing out an easy smile all too often hidden by stress and medical maladies. Then I checked the rear view mirror and saw my gorgeous son — shades on and grin in full gear — lifting his face to the wind with one arm stretched out towards the window.
I know it sounds corny, but one of my favorite things in the world is unexpectedly finding myself in a Kodak moment of familial serenity and total happiness. Usually we don’t realize they’re happening, so to actually recognize and appreciate it while it’s happening is pretty special.
Will caught me looking at him just then and gave me the “what are you looking at?” face. I just winked at him and he laughed and said “You’re silly dad, I love you.” That caught MJ’s attention and she cocked her eyebrow at me as I told her I loved her too.
“This is nice,” she said, turning her beautiful face back towards the sunlight. “It’s been a good day.”
Better than you know, baby.