A Father Remembers
I can remember when this man was about the same age as his little girl. I can remember how I felt the way he feels as expressed in his eyes in this picture. I can remember my pride, my love, my joy, and my belief in our Almighty as I looked into his eyes.
This picture reminds me of the Saturday mornings when just the two of us would get in the car and go out on an adventure together. It seems like yesterday that we were shopping one of these mornings and ran into one of my friends from the office – King Tren, a Vietnamese engineer. King invited us to lunch for a special treat at a local Vietnamese restaurant that served ‘Dim Son.’
Although skeptical at how Gavin would feel about such ethnic fare, I agreed because King seemed so excited about sharing his special place with us. And, besides he had addressed the question to Gavin, not me, and Gavin was excited about it. So, off we went, following King until the street signs turned into Chinese symbols and the storefront windows all had pictures of dragons and monkeys and fish. I noticed the many yards that had high wrought iron fences with sharp points on top and thought about the Chinese gang wars I had heard about on the news.
Upon entering the huge bright red and gold doors, we heard the loud roar of the crowded restaurant. As we were seated I began to listen to the high pitched sing-song conversations that were taking place around us. No one was speaking English. King explained to Gavin that he could have anything he wanted. All he had to do was stop one of the girls that wheeled her food cart past the table; all loaded with a different delicacy from the orient. My efforts to stifle a cough from the over-powering odor were overcome by fear that Gavin would say something rude in his child-innocence when he tasted the food.
Gavin, wasted no time reaching out to the first girl that came close enough for him to grab her skirt. He pointed at everything in her cart and King told the girl, “He wants one of each.”
I looked at the things she was stacking on his plate and tried to figure out which was animal and which was plant. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see something scurry out from one of the servings and run across the table. I, on the other hand, was not so brave when choosing my helpings. It may not have been true, but some of stuff did look like monkey brains and it seemed like there was a multitude of bugs in the rice. I certainly couldn’t bring myself to try anything that was furry or rolled into what appeared to be raw dough either.
Gavin had no trouble putting it away like there was no tomorrow. King was elated that Gavin liked it so much and commented on his healthy appetite. When we were done, King suggested we get a go-box that we could take home to his Mom. Gavin thought that a wonderful idea and was so excited to give the box to Sandi when we got home.
I remember Sandi telling me to take Gavin outside so he wouldn’t see her putting it all down the garbage disposal.