Tonight the activity schedule allowed the Fella and our boy Cooter to have a Guys’ Night Out for supper. Cooter had chosen earlier–his favorite chicken sandwich place plus playground. When our Princess and I got home, he told us that he had so much fun at supper.
“I had Dr. Pepper. I really like it. I like Pepper, and he’s a Doctor.” And then he laughed like he’d just said the funniest thing ever.
His laughter carried me back fifteen years to riding in my friend’s van. It was a special day, one that she and I both had some free time. We took my Aub and her little guy out to pick up a happy McLunch. Born six weeks apart, they were the only two little ones at our church. We had spent the morning together at the Mother’s Morning Out she and I ran, and then we decided to go for lunch.
As we started to pull up to the speaker in the drive-thru, we asked the little ones what they would like to have to drink with their chicken bucket of joy. Aub, a girl after her aunt Mess Cat’s own heart, called out happily, “I love Dr. Pepper.” (She had had one or two before with Mess Cat.) Drew, our little friend, piped up with, “I love my doctor too. He’s Dr. Harvey.”
You can imagine the laughter coming from the front seats on that one.
Or maybe you had to be there.
The thing is I was there. And for a few minutes tonight, as the weight of the day threatened to take me under with exhaustion and a little sadness, I was there again. The sheer joy of having an unexpected outing with my friend, this friend who loved me through some pretty hard times and celebrated some really great ones as well, took me away from the woes and worries of the day just as it did then. And the laughter of the three year olds after we started laughing, so sweet, and not having a clue what they were laughing about–precious.
I love having memories that can make me smile and bring back the warmth of a moment, of a day. Driving home tonight I thought about what my greatest goal is right now. To give my children good things to remember, much as my parents did for us. I’m not talking about “Oh my parents took us to Disney every summer” or “We got everything on our wish list for our birthday each year.” I’m thinking about things like how Mama tried cooking homemade pizza on the grill in the summer to keep from heating up the whole house, and how it was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. Still. Or how she and my Aunt helped us put together a Barbie wedding complete with a wiener roast after. Or how Daddy didn’t play when it came to hard work and keeping your word, but he did make things like planting a garden or washing a car extra special just by talking and listening to you. I hope one day my children can look back on the memories we are making now and find comfort and joy and maybe even a giggle or two.
Dr. Pepper. That boy cracked me up. He and Aub were a pair back in the day, that’s for sure. Tonight I’m thankful for him and his “Blue’s Clues/Rugrats” loving self and all the laughter we shared those years ago. And again tonight. Mostly I’m thankful for the happy memories and the people who made them happen.
Wishing you all merry memory making. One day someone will be glad you did.