Today mom and I took one of our famous drives after her doc appointment... We mosied over west of town to Marceline to eat in the car at..... Sonic. Yep. I know. We had a Sonic about three blocks from the doc, but... The clouds and deep blue sky just called for a drive... The temperature began the dawn at a beautiful 58° in the month of July... Beautiful weather (though we do need rain sooo much!)
I enjoy Sonic most if nobody parks jammed up next to me. But sure enough, in wheeled a maroon van... A pretty one, but still. I waited for the usual usual... Loud music, bickering...smoking threat dangling out their window from a cigarette they don't want to ruin THEIR lunch.... Yep. I was being a bit pessimistic.
Instead, the side door slid back, and right there two feet away... A slender, beautiful young woman held a cute, cute, cute baby smiling boy on her lap. She smiled at us, radiant...but looking road weary. Her longer dark hair was half way down her back, and she wore a dress with smocked tube top.... Longer in back than front, white, fluid... Sweet tan, young, a few tattoos... And such a pleasant mommy... Her husband was driving. As he got out of the van, he took the baby and bagan to direct their three other children toward the restrooms in the back.
One little boy, tousle haired, shouted back, "Bye, Dad! Love you! You're awesome!" The dad smiled.... Then he shouted, "You're awesome, too!" The smiles took minutes to fade from the dad, the mom...and the eavesdropper. (Me.) when the mom walked in front of our car with her daughter, she flashed a kind smile at Mom...and a little wave.
Throughout the fairly long passage of time, the dad patiently went through each little child's dream order, detailing just what kind of nerd slushies...boysenberry... Cotton candy.... .??? And the whole concept of lunch began to take on a festive, exciting, anticipatory event. Meanwhile the mom simply twirled, laughing with the baby very quietly without show or noise playing peekaboo with first one, then another child... Finally, the dad ordered... And you can imagine the confusion over the intercom from a multiple meal- plain burger-only ketchup-no sauce please-menu... The dad's voice on our end was simply pleasant... Zero frustration... Total tolerance...actually beyond tolerant, pure happy.
Of course, they sat on the outside picnic area... When I backed out, Mom and I noticed the license plate from Santa Cruz... Long way from home. I stopped the car for one last look at this family, by now eagerly sorting through bags of burgers and cups of vibrant nerds and slush! I wanted so much to tell them how sweet they were.
But I didn't want to be a creeper... But it's so sadly rare to be around a busy bee little group with 100% Merry hearts! patience.... Appreciation.... No huffing. No "hurry-upping," no smacking. No whining or abject desolation-bawling like I hear from so many babies... No sarcasm or blaming... A dad not frustrated by his kids... No texting... A mom not barking big threats. And "Do you want a spanking?'s" (isn't that the dumbest question ever?) I had such a happy "Daddy loves Mommy- Mommy loves Daddy. -AND WE BOTH LOVE YOU," childhood... I love seeing it in action today.
They will never cross paths with me or know about their impact. I have no idea of their story.. I choose to believe I saw a slice of their normal. I don't remember dealing with life in such kind-spirited contentment... I'm pretty sure I still don't. Well, let me please take a page from their book! I choose to attempt to emulate their simply quiet joy..... Joy in the simple things... To be together... To choose softly and carefully the happiest of simple pleasures... to be travelin' through Missouri or any state together this crisp day in July... Whoever they are, wherever they are right now....I wish them Godspeed... Safe journey...
(Don't cotton candy, nerd Smoothies sound weird?)
(Photos saved as favorites posted on Facebook by ad pages)