Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
There are moments as a parent you know that for some reason will be with you forever. No matter how old and forgetful you get those moments will still exist clearly to be relived again and again.
I remember my two year old telling me to make the car go faster because the moon was chasing us and when we pulled into a parking lot the moon went out of sight behind the strip mall. She said, “I think we lost ‘em.”
I remember my daughter’s first goal. The poor girl was simply following the herd when someone on the other team kicked the ball and it bounced off her head into the goal. I remember her standing there while her friends cheered, unsure if she should cheer or cry. She cheered all the way to the sideline until she reached me and cried.
I remember my seven year old telling her younger sister who’d just gotten out of the stroller and walked into a bookshelf, “I told you it was dangerous outside the stroller.”
I’ll remember the sight of my girls running out of school towards the van, smiling.
And I’ll remember something that happened yesterday forever too. But in a different way. This one takes a little explanation.
I’m rereading “A Tree Grown in Brooklyn.” Actually I’m rerererereading it. It’s one of my favorites. It’s about a little girl growing up in Brooklyn early in the 20th century. Dog eared doesn’t begin to tell you how this book looks. It’s been through it. It’s been smudged by kid’s fingers. stepped on by muddy shoes, ripped while they were playing school, left in the van for a few weeks, even used to kill a spider once, and used as a coaster and a plate for kids eating on the way to basketball practice. It’s been in the bathroom for about a month now.
All this is a long way to tell you something else. But it comes up again trust me.
My mother in law called yesterday to tell us she was in the neighborhood.Hooray. So we all ran around the house cleaning up until she showed up.
When she got to our house she suggested I get out for a little while. I said sure and it was all I could do to not make a Matt shaped hole in the wall on my way out. She asked me where I would go and I said I was probably going to the bookstore because I hadn’t had a book to read in weeks.
My five year old said, “He reads books all the time!!!”
Now, I didn’t want my mother in law thinking I neglected my children and locked myself away reading books all day long so I engaged the five year old. Big mistake. I insisted I hadn’t had a book in weeks.
My five year old then drops this on us. “You read the dirty book in the bathroom all the time.”
Now, I knew right away that he was talking about “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” but my mother in law started looking out the window as if she’d found something very interesting. I’m standing there thinking about explaining what he means and I’m deciding whether it’s worth it or not and then he adds this little bomb: “The one with the little girl on the cover.”
OoooooooooK. Well then I had to explain. You just have to at that point.
That’s just one of those moments I know I’ll remember forever.