I looked at my nieces and nephews and nodded Yes, it is pretty freakin’ amazing. I would have said this aloud, but I was holding an icepack to my lower lip. I had only been playing Trac Ball with Heather for two minutes when I took the high-velocity, air-filled plastic ball in the face. Dad was quick to give up trying to choke back his laughter when he saw my cracked and bleeding Jolie. “You know,” he said, “that has never happened in the history of Trac Ball.” Subtext: you must really be a moron. For his playful teasing, Dad earned a swollen smirk, a vision that apparently made it more difficult for him to continue chuckling guilt-free.
When we’d finished eating, Dad took a seat in his lawn chair and watched on like King Triton beholding his daughters from his throne. “Are you having a good day?” I asked, with a bit of a lisp.
“It’s perfect, just perfect,” said Dad. Sensing he had more to say, I stood silently beside him as he gazed at Heather, Jane, and Jenny, who were chatting with each other while making sure the children didn’t stray too far from the blanket Jane had set on the grass for them. “You know how an artist is never happy with their creations?” Dad asked rhetorically. “Well, I’m more easily pleased. I feel like an artist who can sit back and say, ‘Okay, I’m finished with it, and now it’s up to other people’s interpretations.’”
“What’s that feel like?” I asked.
Dad let out a little laugh and shrugged his shoulders at the idea of putting into words what he felt was beyond language. After a moment, and still laughing, he said, “It’s just super cool.”