I believe in Sundays. To me now, Sunday means a new beginning, a fresh start to an undiscovered week. That doesn’t keep me from still wishing back to those Sundays when I could spend the whole day following my dad, copying his every move. If he loves basketball, then I love basketball. It’s the same thing with baseball; my dad watched live baseball every chance he had. Sundays remind me of baseball games at Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets. I first became obsessed with the Mets at about the age of seven; my dad had given me his “greatest card [he has] ever gotten from a Topps pack”, Dwight Gooden’s rookie card. Everyone should know what a Topps pack is, a pack of baseball cards and a wad of bubblegum. You could always tell it was a Topps card because it smelled like a fresh, pink piece of big league chew; to this day the smell of bubblegum instantly makes me think of my dad.
On rare, occasional Sundays, my mom and I would dress nice with the intention to go to church. Usually we would start off on a good track, leaving the house on time. Which, now that I think about it, didn’t matter that much because Utah literally closes down on Sundays. No one drives on the freeways and mostly everything is left open; perfect driving conditions. The thirty minute drive there meant more to me than any church service ever had. My mom worked a lot more than she wanted to when I was younger so I didn’t get the same upbringing as some kids, but that one on one time with her made us closer; it was like fitting everything that happened that week into a half hour drive. Spending those Sunday mornings with her is one of the greatest memories I have. I hated actually going to church, the only time I truly said prayers and meant them was when my mom and I would pull into the church parking lot, she would look over at me and I would pray for her to ask, “Are you hungry Bethy”? Lucky for me, she usually did.
The all time best thing about Sundays though, was Sunday dinner. Figures, one of the few memories that consistently involved both of my parents had something to do with food. It was Paula Dean who said “there ain’t nothing better at bringin’ the family together than food”. Here I would have to agree. We weren’t all required to help in the preparation of the food, but don’t get me wrong, it was a combined team effort. My dad and I usually went to the Fresh Market to pick up the desired meat of the night, some fresh fruits and vegetables, and my mom’s favorite, spices. When she would make us a list to shop for she usually specified which seasoning she wanted, but once in a blue moon she would look at my dad and I and say, “Surprise me”. These were the words I loved hearing! Not only was I going to make dinner exotic and new, but also I was going to actually help my mom cook. Isn’t it crazy, that at that age anything you thought you made or helped make was so delicious? From allspice to vanilla, we tried it all. Apparently, many of them were disgusting, I found that strange; I enjoyed every Sunday dinner no matter the spice.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.