Because of great distance, historically, I haven’t spent a ton of time with my parents as an adult. We’ve visited during some of my kids’ summer breaks from school, shared a few holidays, graduations and anniversaries, but the day-to-day stuff really hasn’t been a big part of our adult relationship.
Therefore now that we have a little extra time to spend as a ‘neighbor’ in their town, it has allowed for a more relaxed approach to our relationship.
“Sure.” I responded. “What’s up?” (thinking I would have an opportunity to help him with a task.)
In his standard mysterious style, Dad responded with nothing more than, “You’ll see.”
And I know Dad. If he doesn’t offer the information, it means he won’t offer the information. (Even if I cajole and barter. Trust me… there’s history there.) Therefore, for the next few days as me and Benj went about our daily lives, every now-and-then one of us would pause, and proclaim,
“Oh, I know. Dad probably needs help with…” (fill in the blank.) And, I suppose if I’m being honest, the little girl who still dwells underneath my not-so-little-girl skin wondered (fleetingly, of course), “Oh no.. am I in trouble?”
When the day dawned, I arrived promptly at 10 a.m. to undertake whatever mission I chose to accept. (I’ll pause while you do your best Mission Impossible impersonation.)
We hopped into the car and he began to drive. I knew he wasn’t about to tell me where we were headed, so we just maintained a casual conversation as we motored. Finally, we arrived at the mall.
“Oh!” I laughed. “Ben was right. He thought you needed some help picking out a birthday present for Mom.”
Dad just chuckled. “Something like that,” he responded.
Once inside the mall, he treated me to my favorite coffee place and then said, c’mon. After a few minutes, we arrived at a vendor who was selling Churros.
I smiled at Dad.
Dad smiled at me. “This is our final stop,” he said.
Churros: Deliciously, deep-fried, tubular, South-American doughnuts: Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and laden with sugary cinnamon crystals. (YUM!)
The churro connection: On a rainy day in the 70’s in very quaint coastal village in South America, a man in his late 30’s and his tween-aged daughter thought it would be fun to venture out onto the beach and enjoy mother nature on her soggy terms.
Luckily a street vendor had also braved the weather and so the father-daughter-team procured a bag of the above-mentioned tasty treats before running towards the salty surf. As luck would have it, the rain slowed to a drizzle, but the wind still howled, blowing sand in their eyes and mouth. Therefore, they constructed a shelter (an overturned picnic table or something like that) to ward off the pelting assault. And in their little nook, in the midst of the chaos, they hunkered down, tanking up on churros, and enjoying a few sweet moments of connection.
I’ll give you a moment to dry your eyes before moving on….
Thirty-five years have passed, seriously like a flash of lightning. I’m the mother of grown children, and Dad’s retired from a lifelong career as a computer engineer. Dad and I have always been nose-to-the-grindstone type of folks. Therefore, we tore through our allotted days toiling in our separate worlds, clawing our way to the top of the heap. And now, thirty-five year later, want to know the best lesson I’ve learned?