This weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. I can honestly say that. Even though it was mostly spent on the road, I had but one mission in mind. To make a sandwich If you’re a parent, you’ll understand.
Sometimes I let the stress of life, and other things prevent me from remember what the most important things in life are. Family. This weekend was devoted to mine….And sandwiches. A lot of friends asked me what I was doing this weekend, and I told them “Making a sandwich”, and yes there were many curious looks. They asked me “Ok?”
“Yep I responded, I’m heading down to my daughters to make her special sandwich”
“Ok, so what’s in this special sandwich?” they would ask.
“Nothing special”, I would reply .
You see, as silly as it may sound, the one thing my oldest daughter remembers about growing up, is Dad’s Sandwich. We all have our comfort foods, and for her…one of them is simply this sandwich.
For the longest time, I didn’t know it meant so much to her. I was always concerned about not having those special moments with my oldest…Thinking to myself “Man, I should have done this when she was little..” or “We could have done this more…” etc. But the bottom line is, you never know just how much a simple thing is going to mean in your child’s life.
When I was growing up, my dad would get myself, my older brother and younger sister, every other weekend, and it was pretty much the same story every time…Either a movie, lunch or dinner at Denny’s, or walking around to the music store and browsing around. It wasn’t that he could not do anything else, it’s just that he had to find a common thing we could all do together, that we would all enjoy. (Sure, we did other things, but these are the key things I remember). Regardless, this is the one thing I love and remember about my father. I knew that when it was our time with him, we were definitely going to see the latest greatest movie at the theatre It was a given. And I remember and loved it every single time. It wasn’t really that we were going to see the latest and greatest, it was that this was OUR TIME with him. For that single reason I still love going and paying the outrageous price for a movie ticket to sit in a theatre through a lot of really bad movies. It’s the waiting for those few moments when I see an epic flic, and think to myself “That was worth the price of the ticket; the popcorn; etc” and I walk out with that nostalgic feeling and wishing my dad was there with me.
I stopped by my dads house yesterday on the way back home. It was only oh…about 200 miles out of the way on an already long road trip back home, but it had been a long time since he and I have had a chance to sit, relax, and catch up. We got on the subject of movies, and he explained how bad he felt that this was mostly all we did when he had us. I told him, “Are you kidding? I loved those times!” What I didn’t tell him (mostly because I didn’t know how to explain it) was that it’s ok, because that’s MY Sandwich. That’s the thing I LOVE and MISS about my time with my dad. I told him “Dad, don’t worry about it, it’s not WHAT we did, is just that we did it together.
When my oldest was growing up, I was just getting started in my career. We certainly didn’t have a lot (not that it truly matters), but I wanted to do so much more with her. On the weekends, when there was nothing else going on, we would make a sandwich; sit and watch goofy movies; and build up memories. For her, Dad time was Sandwich time .
Sometimes I get that call from her, when she’s had a bad day, and it ends with “I wish you were here to make me a sandwich”. At first I thought to myself “Really? You want me to make you a sandwich? What was so special about about a simple sandwich…I didn’t do anything special, it was really just mayo, mustard, American cheese, Bologna, etc…” but to her it was special. That was HER Dad time.
So this weekend, on my way down she asked what I wanted to do, did we want to plan anything. I told her… “No, I don’t want to plan anything, I just want to come down and spend time with you. We don’t have to do anything…but the ONE thing I’m doing is, I am SO making you a sandwich”. So Saturday we go to the store to get supplies. Fresh sliced Deli meats and cheeses, Lettuce, etc. I’m making sure I’ve got anything and I tell her “Let me just get some chips to go with these, I’ll try to find something lite” and she points at the Doritos and I say “Oh, you want Doritos? Ok.” Her response was “Yeah dad, you’ve got to put them on the sandwich!”. And then I remembered. Yep, I had always put Doritos on top of everything, and crunched them down . Ok so maybe there was ONE special thing on the sandwich and I almost forgot! We got home, I put my special Dad Sandwich makin’ skills to work, and we just enjoyed the late afternoon pigging out on sandwiches full of stuff none of us really need right now but it was timeless.
So what is all this babbling on about? It’s about not worrying what you do or don’t do with your kids if you have them. Just SPEND TIME WITH THEM. In the end, THEY will pick out what’s special to them.
Just remember It’s not what’s in the Sandwich, it’s who made it.
And if you’re REALLY curious about what was in this sandwich:
- American Cheese
- Provolone Cheese
- Mayo and Mustard
- Dill Slices
- Doritos on top!
- Love and Care!
Was talking to Kat’s Mom about this, Had to update it to “And Glitter” for something she wanted to start this year too. Not going to try to explain it, just remember to also try to create those Sparkling moments .