Last week I had some pork bones simmering on the stove for ramen on a chilly and overcast day. The kids and I spent the vast majority of the day inside at home, watching a little television, listening to music, reading, playing and being tickled and chased around the house. It was one of those rare days when everyone was in a good mood with few to no tears. Every so often I’d have to check on the broth, throw something into it, skim it and adjust the heat, but generally my attention was focused on Nate and Lindsay who were surprisingly happy to have a day around the house.
Given the setting I was prompted to recall a moment from my past when I was in high school and “sick” and spent the day at home with my dad. My dad worked shifts of two weeks at night, a week off, then two weeks of days, and throughout my childhood I would feign illness to spend a day with him on his week off, a pattern I later learned that my parents had caught on to even as early as elementary school but allowed anyway.
What I remember of that specific day was my dad in the kitchen, making either a soup or stock in a stock pot that I now use (and was using last week to make the ramen in). I was in the living room on the couch watching the television (MTV specifically). And that’s it, a little snippet from life some 20 odd years ago. I remember feeling contentedness if not happiness. At the time I had no interest in cooking and couldn’t have offered my dad any help, not that he would have even accepted it. After all it was his day off and I was an intruder to his solitude.
I’ve never shared this memory with anyone, including my dad, because it’s pretty much relevant only to me. And even though I’m sure he’s long forgotten the day and the moment, I’m sure he’ll like to know that I still remember a day from childhood spent with him with fondness.
I’ll probably revisit the moment from last week with a similar fondness. And though Lindsay is too young to ever remember a day spent at home with ramen broth on the stove top, I wonder what impression, if any, it might have made on Nate. At the least my own memory serves as a reminder that most likely the sort of moments Nate and Lindsay will recall with fondness 30 or 40 years from now will be from the simplest moments of their childhood, one that I’ll probably have long forgotten for it’s mundanity. It would be nice to think that there would be a pot of bones on the stove, but that’s my memory and most likely not theirs.