When they were little there were moments of inexplicable joy. Moments of belonging to a greater community. A neighborhood of peace. Life in the slow lane of gentleness.
When they were little the smallest things brought the biggest things. Eating at a new restaurant was like going to the finest eatery in all the world. And this was just down the block. When they were little.
When a drugstore opened, it was pure adventure, more so than Disneyland. And, my oh my, Disneyland was beyond the stars. The morning when Mickey Mouse greeted us in a private ceremony. You would’ve thought we’d just landed on the moon. When they were little.
A Sunday drive was pure adventure. In fact, we used to rev up and say “we are going on an adventure.” We would scream it. Excitement brimming out the windows like overflowing water. And we would drive down the street to a nearby park. No further. A shopping mall. Nearby. A drive-through restaurant, such as a Dairy Queen. You would’ve thought it was Chasen’s of Beverly Hills. When they were little.
I would come home from work. I would get off an airplane or a train or a bus. Or they would. I would walk up to them; there was an energy that must come from love. It must come from satisfaction. Satisfaction in nothing more than being with somebody. I used to say “everything is going to be OK as long as we are together.” When they were little.
Now, they are not so little. My two sons, grown and moved on. Not too far, though. Just down the street in neighboring cities; going to college. Working. Doing fine.
We still go to the occasional opening of a Walgreen, Five Guys, Famous Dave’s or whatever else moves the spirit of our clan. Like our tradition of the “Midnight Snack.” It’s alive and well to this day.
Yes, we are a clan. That’s because when they were little, my wife and I were little with them. When they were young, we were young with them. In spirit, perhaps, only, but nevertheless with them. We are to this day.
I remember when they were little and I smile, cry even. Obviously, not out of sadness, but a profound gratitude to have been lucky enough to share these moments with my family. If that isn’t heaven, you can see it from where they were little. Clear as day.