As the sun began its downward track, I looked around the picnic table at the group of our friends laughing as they enjoyed cheese and crackers and crisp, chilled white wine. We were gathered on a yacht-club deck to celebrate as Father’s Day drew to a close. Our young children played nearby in the golden light before the backdrop of the mooring field and Long Island Sound beyond.
One friend piped up, suggesting a quick cruise around the lighthouse for fathers and children in his center console. The wives herded the kids toward the dock, buckling life jackets on as they went. My daughter has been on boats quite a bit before but not lately. She continued her voracious acquisition of vocabulary and knowledge as she pointed out sailboats, other cruisers, seagulls, and buoys (“What’s that?”). I kept her close (after all, we’re both still learning), but she began to get antsy on my lap and wriggled free, standing close to me and holding onto the covering board, the better to see the sights passing by, carefully getting a sense of the hull’s gentle motion. She turned and faced forward, her eyes blinking in the wind and descending sun. I watched her face curl into a sweet smile, one that surely mirrored mine as I stashed that image away.
And this morning, as my commuter train haltingly made its way into New York, my memory presented that picture before my closed eyes, and my grin returned.
I hope you had a great Father’s Day.