I am spending my vacation from the boat world at home with my parents. As I type this, my dad is rolling his own home made fake tobacco since he quit months ago. He is singing and drumming on the table so it shakes every time he hits a big moment. I can’t stop laughing because now he wants to sell his fauxbacco product and keeps scheming ideas. He is also trying to order a pizza and is clearly anxious about getting toppings that everyone likes. Wearing a shoulder sling because he injured himself bodysurfing in Cape May. I cannot quit giggling.
This ridiculous, sweet moment.
I don’t know what it is lately about everything making me want to cry in that good way where you realize what you have while you have it.
Earlier today, I left the house to go to the craft store to get watercolors to continue painting my greeting cards. (BTW I make greeting cards if anyone wants to buy them for a huge sum of money) My mom suggested he come with me. Both of us demurred, thinking there was no logical reason for my dad to come to the craft store with me. Neither of us could grasp the concept that it was about us spending time together, as we are both generally lost in our own worlds. My mom nudged us into it. I agreed, if I could drive, just because I was being stubborn for no apparent reason.
I drove us through the streets of Rockford and we sang aloud to Neil Young’s Heart of Gold playing on the classic rock station. We talked for the 11,000th time about Young’s voice. How he’s not for everyone but we love him.How much we want to see him live together. Wonder how this has not happened yet. My dad drums with abandon on the dashboard, something I’ve always loved, ever since I was little. And it hits me, not for the first time, what my mom had been trying to do.
Driving around with my dad in his hometown. Listening to his favorite musician. Realizing I’m lost but not really caring too much because where we’re going is the craft store and it’s not that important. Talking, as we often do, about music. The band GAD we started in the basement the last time I was home. GAD, because we only know three chords apiece. G, A and D. The concert we put on Christmas morning where I made him wear a wig and we did a mashup. And the answer is yes, I do have it on video.
We hit the craft store then I get busy chatting about my dreams and schemes and pull into home depot by accident, lured by the orange sign. He gets irritated with my spaciness and tries to backseat drive me to the sports store. We bicker until splitting up at Dick’s sporting goods so I can get my hammock straps in peace. We are far too similar to be in situations like this. I head toward outdoor gear and he finds the golf clubs. A little too much time goes by. I’ve paid and am ready to roll and he’s nowhere to be found. I consider paging him on the cashier’s PA system but I know he would be mortified.
Our bickering never lasts long. I spot him near the camping gear and soon we are heading towards a pub for lunch and a few drinks; our ritual. We laugh about how my mom masterminded this meeting. How dim we were to miss the point. Over greasy wings and dark beers, we chat about politics, though neither of us is too invested. We speak of possible revolutions. About immigration. Muse about how Donald Trump is a thing. About where my parents could move. And of where I’m headed next.
I think again. This is it. We create the memories without even realizing it, don’t we? And sometimes they are simple and classic. I’m glad my mom stepped in so I don’t dumbly waste the chances to hang out with my dad.When we have nowhere else we need to be.When I’m not obsessed with some new adventure and forget to balance it out with home.
Just here, in my parent’s kitchen. Laughing at old family photos. Planning to watch So you think you can dance because my mom loves it and may or may not have a bet going with my aunt Karen about it.
Soon it will be colder weather and sailing south and first birthday parties.
But for now, I’m here. And here’s pretty good, too.