We went to my parents’ for dinner tonight.
They had my nephew over the weekend. So, I knew my sister, Lindsey and her husband would be there. My youngest sister, Teresa was due in from a recent service trip in Texas, so, I knew she would be there. So, even though I knew I wouldn’t be eating the same meal (I’m at the very end of my cleanse), I really wanted to be gathered around their table.
This is the same table I grew up eating at. Dreading family meetings at. Celebrating report cards at. Confessing bad decisions and deep loves at. Contemplating big moves and little everythings at.
And while the table itself is nearly as old as I am – of course, it’s always been more about the people around it. The people at the head of it. The people who made it possible for the rest of us to find a seat.
After dinner my husband got a call from his Mom & Dad, letting us know that if we wanted to stop by their place on the way home, they’d be there.
I could hear from the moment that Ken said hello, that of course he wanted to stop by – and I loved him even more for wanting to do so.
And so we did.
Soon after arriving at Ken’s parents’ home, our four year-old discovered that his Nana bought him a new book with an accompanying stuffed animal.
“Do you know that mouse’s name?” She asked.
“No,” Briggs answered.
“That’s Frederick. His name is Frederick and that book’s all about him. And do you know who else was named Frederick?”
“No,” Briggs said again.
“Yeah, you know how your Dad’s named Kenny and Dad’s Dad is named, Herman?”
Briggs smiled and nodded.
“Well, my Dad’s name was Frederick. And that’s why I want you to have that.”
Then, we all smiled.
When we finally got home it was near nine o’clock and Briggs was exhausted, but I asked if he wanted to read his new book after we brushed his teeth – and of course he did.
Turns out, Frederick (the book) is all about the importance of family, hard work, creativity, and connection.
It was the most perfect way to close out a day that held so many brilliant reminders of the blessings that are our Moms and Dads.
The gift of having them. The gift of being them. And the miracle of forever carrying them with you.