Me: “MOM! Why is dad’s thermos in the garbage?!”
Mom: “Because it’s useless. He has a new one. What is wrong??”
Me: “You can’t throw that away!! I want it. Can I have it? I’m taking it. It’s mine.”
Mom, not asking anymore questions because she knows it’s fruitless at this point: “Ok, sure, whatever.”
At this point, I think she gave me a “you’re a weirdo” glance, but I can’t be sure.
later that day –
Dad: “What are you doing with that, that’s garbage.”
Me: “No, it’s not. I’m taking it. It’s mine. You can’t have it back, you snooze you lose.”
Dad: “No…. I didn’t lose…”
holds up new thermos
Dad: “…that one doesn’t work anymore. I don’t think you’re going to want to use it.”
Me: “Duh, DAAAAAAD. I’m not going to USE it.”
Dad: “What? Wh-… wait, nevermind. Just… ok, it’s yours.”
Me, satisfied with my acquisition: “aaaand thank you very much.”
Again, another possible “where did we go wrong, why is she so strange” glance.
But here’s the thing.
One of the things I remember most from growing up is my dad’s thermos.
Every night, before heading to work, he’d brew his coffee, fill his thermos, grab his lunchbox, kiss his girls, and be out the door.
The thermos, as silly as it might sound, is almost iconic to me.
The thermos is a reminder of the smell of oil and fuel in his uniform.
The thermos is the hushed talking when he was asleep during the day.
The thermos is hard work. The thermos is provision for a family.
The thermos is dedication, even when you don’t want to.
The thermos is the smell of aftershave mixed with coffee.
The thermos is never leaving without a kiss and an “i love you.”