My best friend’s 17 year old daughter just got her first car recently. I somehow got talked into going to Jefferson, TX with her. This girl, who I’ll call Jenny, and I worked together in the same restaurant last summer, and actually get along rather well. We both enjoy the same anime cartoon, and find the same things amusing, and we both have a serious weakness for cuppity cakes. Now she is, in many ways, an old soul and a pretty cool chic to sit and talk to. So really, it wasn’t any kind of torture to go spend time with this kid just so her mom could have some peace of mind knowing that an an adult was around if something went wrong with the car or whatever.
We went to Jefferson, TX, which is this little historic town that used to be a major shipping hub in the plantation days, but is now a tourist trap with antique shops and ghost tours and such, along with the occasional four day long biker ralley. Jenny and I wandered into some of the cuter stores and looked at funny teeshirts and weird pocketbooks with pounds and pounds of fake gems pasted on them and looked at all of the historic architecture, and train cars, and such, and had a great time.
As we were wondering around, we wandered into the local drug store. I had never been in there before, and Jenny thought the place was cool. The first thing I noticed was the old timey soda shop inside this drug store. It was OLD, and it brought back memories of my dad taking me to the local drugstore in the town where I grew up and having lunch or ice cream at the soda shop counter there.
It was a powerful wave of childhood memories, and for a moment I wasn’t my 44 year old self. For just one moment, I was a little platinum-haired kid, and I think I actually looked around for my daddy.
Now, rather than make me sad that my daddy died when I was only 14, these memories made me feel so connected to the daddy I lost so long ago. I actually felt the joy of a child as I walked up to the counter and started to read my ice cream options on the wall.
I sometimes think that, as adults, we get so caught up in all of the busy-ness of our lives that we forget that kids are onto something. Kids don’t forget to laugh and play and enjoy the moment. Kids don’t forget to live life.
I think I’ll have to ask my friend if I can borrow Jenny again sometime soon so that we can go back to that drugstore with its soda shop counter and sit down a moment and enjoy life.