Big Purple Chair

Some days my body doesn’t want to go to work but my mind convinces it otherwise. Occasionally it’s the other way around. But when both protest it’s best to take a day off instead of fighting a winless battle.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Luca and Lincoln had Halloween parties at school so I headed there to volunteer my skills which included sweeping the gym floor, tying shoes and and reminding a rambunctious little boy to refrain from putting a half licked Tootsie Roll Pop up his nose. 

I finished volunteering in Lincoln’s class just in time to help Luca’s class carve pumpkins. As I walked through the door to her classroom, several students approached me. One little girl said, “We’ve been expecting you”. I looked across the room and saw a table full of carved pumpkins as Luca grabbed my hand, leaned into my leg and said, “I thought you were going to help me carve my pumpkin”.


I picked her up and held her tight as the tears streamed down her face and onto her new glasses. The teacher approached and apologized for writing down the wrong time. But it didn’t matter to Luca. She’d told everyone in her class that her dad was going to carve the best pumpkin ever. I asked her to show me the pumpkin she carved. It looked fantastic. She had taped purple strands of yarn along the top to give it hair. “I’ve never seen a pumpkin with purple eyebrows”, I told her in my lame attempt to entice a smile. 

That afternoon I picked her up from school and drove to our favorite hang out joint: Starbucks. Luca ordered a small hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and a plain bagel. She showed me how hot chocolate connoisseurs use three stirring straws instead of one. “Just make sure it’s not hot before you do this” she warned me.

We relaxed on a big purple chair with giant comfy cushions. Just the two of us. Side by side.

She told me bagels are her favorite food. Except for pizza. And potatoes with melted cheese.

I could listen to her talk for hours. I wish I could make time stand still. But moments like these come in unexpected short bursts. One can’t force them. That’s what makes them special.

I took the glasses off her face and wiped away the salty residue left over from the earlier tears. I placed them back on her cute face and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Her smile returned.

I’d like to take the credit for that.

But I believe it was the magic of the big purple chair.

12 thoughts on “Big Purple Chair

  1. I haven’t been reading your stuff for a terribly long time, but this stands out as one of your best. My secret goal is to get you to write a book and let me take all the credit for it.


  2. You can definitely take credit for bringing tears to a new readers’ eyes- mine! This is such a touching snapshot of fatherhood. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Haha at Mike’s comment. Yes, this is a good post, Brett. I know how it feels to be the parent who broke her child’s heart over expectations. You found the empathy centre of my heart.

    Good men and good fathers make me so happy. I think that’s why I like reading dad blogs more than mom blogs. I didn’t really have a dad, so your blog, Mike’s blog, Rusty’s… they’re reassuring to me.


  4. Thx for Sharing Pal, i had some of these Situations and it rips your heart open when it happens. But you mastered well. Your daughter is a real sweetheart by the way.


  5. Great job Dad. We all sometimes get stuck into situations that are beyond our control. It’s the dad’s who know how to “fix” them that are heros in my book. Purple chairs in Starbucks with just the two of you is something you will always remember. I do with mine…


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