A Day with Dad by Bo. R. Holmberg and Eva Eriksson, both Swedish creatives, is one of D’s old favourites. He hasn’t read this in weeks now although he wanted to read it today when he saw it lying on my study table (where I had taken it to because I wanted to write about it).
Tim lives with his Mom, and his Dad lives in another town. On the day of the story, Tim’s Dad comes to visit him by train and Tim waits at the platform with his mother. After a joyful meeting at the station, Tim and his Dad have hot dogs, then watch a cartoon movie at the theatre, enjoy a pizza, then head to the library. Tim proudly introduces his Dad to everyone they meet - the lady at the hot dog stand, the man who tears the tickets at the theatre, the waiter at the pizzeria, and the librarian. The day soon comes to an end and Tim’s Dad has to head back to the train station. Before the train departs, Tim’s Dad makes a grand gesture that Tim will likely never forget!
Nothing is said about why Tim’s parents live apart (although one could reasonably assume they are separated … they don’t even acknowledge each other when they come to pick Tim up). So whenever D would question me about this, I suggested that perhaps Dad worked in another town temporarily and had to live there for an easier commute.
I was mostly under the impression that D was rather indifferent to this book although he read it very often in the early days. But something happened earlier this year. We drove down to Niagara for a view of the frozen falls. There, I ordered a cinnamon roll to munch on. I asked D if he wanted a bite of my roll.
“Just like in the book,” he said. “Which book?” I was clueless. “A Day with Dad,” came the prompt reply. It took me several minutes to realise what he was talking about. Just before Tim and his Dad head back to the train station, they make their way to a coffee shop for a snack. Tim opts for an éclair while his Dad orders a cinnamon roll and a coffee.
And when I eventually remembered that, I was simply amazed that D would remember this detail, especially as he hadn’t eaten or seen us eat a cinnamon roll until then.
Sometimes, it is clearly the small things that leave an impression.