A Night to Remember

I’m almost done with the Toyota.  I even put license and insurance on it and took it down the road for the first time in six and a half years.  It seemed to run pretty good.  The tail lights weren’t working, but I just couldn’t wait any longer.  I figured I could fix them after dinner.

So there I was, in the shed, with the tail lights all torn apart, and about a half an hour of work to do before I can consider this project finished, and my son walks in.  I knew what he wanted.  Our pond had finally frozen solid enough to go skating.  

Yeah, I’m so close to getting this truck done, I can taste it, but it’s taken me over half a decade.  It can wait another day.  My son wanted to go skating with me, so I put my selfish desires aside.  That’s what fathers do.  Anyway, I knew it will be worth it, both immediately and for years to come.

Both of us will remember at least some parts of this night for the rest of our lives.  We don’t take any pictures.  We don’t need ‘em.  One of us will speak and bring up times skating last year or years before, what the weather was like, what the ice was like, the times we fell through thin ice, and the other always recalls the moments just as well.

We will talk about how our day went, cars, current events, friends and family too, but even these topics will spark a memory of skating.  I’ll remember skating with my dad, thirty and forty years ago.  I’ll recall running around on the ice in my boots when I was three and could not yet skate, as the rest of my family glided along on the ice.  

I’ve spent thousands of hours playing hockey, crack the whip, tag, racing, and just talking as we skated around the perimeter of a pond.  My parents weren’t very good with taking pictures either.  Of all the time I have spent skating and playing hockey, there are probably fewer than a dozen photographs of it, but so much is permanently burned into my memory.

Even though we didn’t record it, even though we didn’t spend any money, even though we don’t have any souvenirs, I know that parts of tonight will be forever etched into my son’s memory as well.





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