If you’re looking for a more conventional April Fools Day story, you can find that here. What follows is a different story that will still give you an opportunity to laugh at me if you are into that kind of thing.
There is a quote from the last episode of The Office delivered by Ed Helms as Andy Bernard that is so touching and relatable.
“I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.”
We all know that the time we have is finite and yet we are so often unable to appreciate how impactful events will be on us for the rest of our lives. Days with friends before responsibilities. Time holding your sleeping newborn.
So often, it isn’t until those moments aren’t available to us that we stop and recognize how great they were.
Sometimes, however, there are moments that pang in your chest just so. That pang rings up in our brains and we know that we need to take in all that is happening. We allow ourselves to be truly present as we are struck with clairvoyance that in years to come we will want to remember what is taking place.
Today is the five-year anniversary of such an event that happened to me.
I struggle with being present. I am usually wrapped in worry about what just happened or what might happen next.
April 1, 2017, was a perfect spring day. No, I am not romanticizing the weather because it was a special day for me. It was sunny, in the mid-60s, light breeze. It’s what I refer to as “Tim Weather”.
My wife was away for a bachelorette party, doing God knows what, while I stayed home with my 12-month-old son.
Leading up to the weekend, people asked, “who is coming to help you while she’s gone?” As though I would not be capable of keeping my son alive on my own for 48 hours.
I mean, I get it now. At the time I thought, why does everyone keep asking that?!
I was so excited about the weekend. I knew the weather was going to be amazing so I planned an outing for the two of us.
I settled on going to one of my favorite places, the University of Minnesota.
We started in the mall. I took him out of his stroller and let him run around. Since it was Saturday, the mall was quiet with just a few students sitting on the grass studying. Reminded me of when I didn’t do that on Saturdays in college.
We walked up to Northrop Auditorium and there happened to be a sorority taking their annual picture on the steps. I let Jude wander up to them. He would wave, back then, by raising his hand straight into the air and then opening and closing his fingers. He said, “Haaaaaaaiiii!” And the girls lost their collective minds.
To this day, Jude makes fast friends with everyone he comes across.
We ate some Cheerios and I put him in the stroller for a little tour of campus.
It’s so much fun to push a baby in a stroller and talk to them as though they understand a damn thing you are saying.
We circled back to Coffman for another round of Cheerios. Jude greeted every new passerby with a wave. We rolled around in the grass until it was time for a nap.
Throughout our time on campus, I knew I was living an unforgettable day. I knew it would be a day that would randomly pop into my head for years to come and it has.
There is a movie, About Time, that I adore. I used to call it a guilty pleasure movie, but somewhere along the way, I have decided that it is an awesome movie.
That night, after I put Jude to bed, I turned the movie on and decided to have a beer. And another. And another. By the end of the movie, well I was a little drunk.
The very basic premise of the movie is that the lead character discovers he (and all of the men in his family) can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life.
In one of the final scenes, Tim, played by Domhnall Gleeson, takes his last trip back in time to see his dad before his baby is born. They both know that this is the last time that they will see each other. His dad, played by Bill Nighy, has one last request, it is to go back in time together to a day they spent on the beach together when Gleeson’s character was a boy.
I realized that if given the opportunity, that day would be the day I would go back to with Jude.
This realization paired with the beer caused me to cry.
Check that sob.
No. It caused me to heave cry audibly for about 15 minutes. Because drinking beer and crying are the things I am best at and I was all out of beer.
April 1, 2017, is one of the best days of my life and I am grateful that I was able to recognize that it was a good old day before I left it.