For two days, I’d been trying to pick my dad up a pizza to share with him for Father’s Day. This would normally be a pretty straightforward task, only he needed a gluten-free one.
Apparently, those are harder to come by than I’d expected when I first promised it.
I’d already tried two places close to home, neither of which had that ability. It was time to go beyond our small-town confines to a slightly larger town: Newmarket. I was in luck! But the only gluten-free option they offered was a small.
With no other choices left, I ordered the small, picked it up, and headed to the farm.
We sat at the table with my parents to enjoy our little pizza party that’d been dragged out for two days.
Mom was still high off a concert she’d seen a couple of days earlier, animatedly explaining how awesome it was in great detail, smiling away through her bites of pizza. Dad was in his usual post at the other end of the table, quietly eating and grinning at Mom’s storytelling.
Every so often we’d add a comment to the conversation that made him laugh, and he’d chuckle and grin even more from the head of the table.
Before long the conversation turned to the boat, and as usual, that started a whole chain of stories and reminiscing about all the many adventures (and even more misadventures!) our family has had with our succession of boats over the years. Each one was a slight step up — a little more reliable, with a few more working parts on it.
While we were growing up, Mom took half the neighbourhood out in the boat, and many of our childhood friends learned to waterski behind one of the boats in our wild fleet.
We have some pretty hilarious stories from those days of boating, and as we told them one after the other while sitting around the table, Dad started roaring with laughter. Some of them he remembered, and some he’d never heard before, but all made him smile.
From there, the conversation ventured into other family memories, like the summer we went to Alaska as a family and Dad was so cold he bought the heaviest winter coat he could find within the first couple of days. He still doesn’t know how we talked him into going as far north as Alaska — at any time of the year! (It didn’t matter that it was summer — and therefore about as warm as it was ever going to get. Nobody should go there! Ever!)
Sitting around the table with my parents, sharing pizza and memories, I was in heaven.
I’m starting to realize that moments like these — the little moments, as people call them — really are what make life great.
It’s often the simplest things that turn out to be the best — and the most important.
What I remember most about those trips and those boating memories from childhood is just being together. It didn’t really matter what we were doing, or what happened. The fact that we now have these shared experiences to continue to bond over is one of the greatest gifts.
What I remember most about this Father’s Day is the happiness we shared — the smiles, the laughs, and then the roars of laughter while each of us pictured the scene of the crazy story being told in our minds, each probably imagining something different. I’ll never forget the looks of pure joy on my parents’ faces.
These are the things that matter most in life.
These are the things that carry us through the ups and downs.
And these are the kinds of moments that I want to build my life upon.
The visit last night may have been short, but it was certainly sweet!