The Papa And The Pizza Box

My husband and I were out at a Pizzeria in a small tourist town. The place was packed!...after waiting and waiting, and waiting to be seated at a table, we were taken to what seemed to me to be the best one in the house! - Right smack in the middle of the large picture window that looked out into the main drag *****. Crowds of people passing continously by on this very hot summer August 1st day. All kinds!
The temperature was 93 degrees ferenheit that day...and as a woman beginning to approach mid life, I was finding the heat even more intolerable than usual. In short... I was feeling pretty bitchy and was not pleasant company for my husband at this point.
"It doesn't even FEEL like they have ANY air conditioning on in here at all!", I snarled at him across the table.
"Relax, relax", he pacified..."There's ceiling fans and once you get a cold glass of ice'll be fine"... and then he gave me a sideways look that asked in a quite fear "you WILL be fine, won't you?"
...look, no one appreciates their wife have someone midlife outburst in the midst of a hungry crowd, to say the least. I caught the drift and straighten up.
Sure enough the cool water with crushed ice and a lovely wedge of lemon was presented to us in no time! ah!...wonderful! and I quickly settled in and relaxed to begin to watch the people show continuing on the other side of the glass. Amazing!... we had front row seats!...families of all types walked by; elderly couples; teenagers in couples; teenagers in groups; a slew of over-weight women; model types; scantly dressed; over-dressed; under-dressed;...and then happy, sad, elated, mad, cranky; slow; fast... the whole gammit!!!
and then, a young couple about thirty years old, with two bikes and two little children (about 18 months and 3) pulled up and parked their bikes right on the other side of the window and right in front of our table view. The woman's bike seemed like a european woman's model. Simple, but sturdy and expensive in design. The man's had a long, long bar/space between his front handle bars and the front headlight of the bike and on this bar sat a wooden box...big enough for two children, with two little seats imported along with shoulder safety belts. What an interesting design! One I'd never seen. To me, it seemed to make so much sense to have the children seated in the front rather than the back behind the drivers seat. (a design I was accustomed to seeing).
The mom got off and came into the restaurant to place a pizza take out order. The two little children leaned up close and pressed their faces up to the glass trying very hard to pick out where their mom was in their restaurant. Their father quickly pulled them aside and seemed to explain that it was rude to do so for the people eating at the tables.
Eventually, the mom came out and took one child in at a time, to use the washroom, while the family passed the time until their pizza was ready. Remember, it was a very hot day and the restaurant was crowed... I knew the wait would be a while.
The father occupied the children by talking with them very attentively and lovingly, pointing out the different activities and landmarks on the street to pass the time. The youngest child got restless, so mom let him get up out of his seat and walk around a little on the sidewalk and then hop up on the seat and play with the bike bell for a little. His older brother followed suit and did the same. The parents were so happy. The day was so hot and they had to occupy their children, but clearly there was not one bit of neglect. To me, it seemed like a fun family outing...going to get pizza for dinner!
Finally, finally, finally!... the mom went back in and got the pizza. Back into the bike seats the little boys climbed into awkwardly. Their little faces lit up with excitement as they watched the pizza box. Their dad, reached over to the side of the boxed seats and pulled out a magazine. He opened it carefully and lovingly placed in on the boys laps. Then he took his sun hat off and laid that down in the middle of the magazine and placed the hot pizza box down for the boys to hold. He did it it such a loving and kind way... so gentle, so careful. More for the boys, clearly, than for the care of the pizza. With his sons now buckled in and his cargo safe and ready to go, he leant down and smiled and said, "let's go home now and have some pizza!"
and then, right at that moment, he looked over at me. I think he suddenly sensed a very captive audience close by. He smiled. I smiled back at him with a smile that only parents of young children can really understand. I am no longer that kind of parent, but those parents brought back so many memories/feelings to my day.
...I forgot completely about the uncomfortableness of the heat as I watched them weave off in and out between the crowd back home.
naomimantra naomimantra
46-50, F
Aug 4, 2010