My dad clasped Gabriel’s hand in his. “This was the meadow where I used to play. And back there? A winding creek. My brothers and I once made a raft from an old door and a tire.”
Autumn had produced a fine day. Blue skies. Rich, gold color. Warm breeze. My boys and I were with my parents. We were at a new community park that had been built behind my dad’s childhood home.
“Can we go back there, Papa? Where you used to play?” Gabe asked. Then he turned to me. “Can we, Mama?”
“Sure,” I said.
“Okay,” Dad said. “Let’s go.”
The two of them walked, hand-in-hand, down the sidewalk that encircled the swings and slides and climbing equipment. It wasn’t long before Zay and Samuel were at their heels. They knew that Dad would be full of boyhood stories, and they wanted to see and hear, too.
Logan, Mom, Grant, and I stayed back. We sat on a bench and began to talk about school and basketball practice and food from the college cafeteria. But I was distracted. I couldn’t help but watch Dad and the boys as they made their way across the field.
There was something precious in the moment. Something strong in the simple. Gabe walking. Dad talking.
Logan nudged me on the shoulder and smiled. “Are you listening, Mom?” he asked.
“Oh,” I said. I zipped my sweatshirt. The sun had dipped under a big, white could. “No. Sorry. What did you say?”
Logan filled me in on the conversation, but I’m not sure I heard. I wondered about the story being shared between Dad and my little boys. Was he telling them about the raft? Or the old stone fireplace that once stood in the field, long after the home that held it was gone? I couldn’t be sure.
But Dad was sharing. And the boys were listening. And when they all disappeared into a deep, green fringe of trees, they were unaware - completely unaware that in those sweet, simple moments, they were creating a story of their own.
Thanks, Lord, for my Dad. And thanks for my boys. And thanks for tender moments that will one day be sweet stories passed down.