So when I told you how important and fun the Hobbit was to me, you agreed. And then you added that it meant as much to you as the day we spent together in Elgin, when Mom worked at Elgin Community College.
First of all, I think you were about 4, so I’m surprised you even remembered. Second, I don’t know what was special about it, except I suspect, I gave you all my attention for a few hours and spent time with you that was only about spending time with you. (You got that, Andy? Yes. Lesson learned. Again.)
Your memory was fuzzy on the day, but you had bits and pieces. I figure that by the time you read this, the day will be completely lost for both of us. So let me fill you in now on what happened during this day because by age 7, it was obviously your #1 bonding experience with your Dad to-date:
1. We dropped mom off at Elgin Community College on a Saturday. She didn’t usually work on weekends–it was unusual, so we came with her to take the edge off. (Everyone thinks it’s weird how much time we all spend with each other, and I think everyone else is weird for thinking we’re weird. So there.)
2. We skipped stones in the fake pond outside the school. Well, I skipped them and tried to show you how, but you mostly just threw big, huge rocks, or fists full of pebbles and thought it was AWESOME.
3. We crossed the street and wandered into a park. The ground was wet and we hopped over puddles and sunk in mud. We played on swings, and also found (what I think was) a dead baby bird. We wrapped up the bird in some paper and buried it together. I said a few words.
4. On our way back to the car, you invented a recurring character–a robin by the name of Picker. From then on for about a year or so, every robin you saw was Picker; he had followed you all the way from Elgin and stalked you all over the North Shore. If more than one robin was present, they were Picker and Mrs. Picker, or even his extended family. Did you know it wasn’t really Picker? In Elgin, I think you thought the bird was following you. Later, we were all just having fun. (This was the part you remembered the most last night, by the way.)
5. We went to a mall. I sat and watched you play in a play area and you made a little friend, who–and this is almost always the case with you–seemed way more interested in you than you were in her.
6. Mom called me and then we left and met her.
That’s it, buddy. And now we’ll both never forget.