We were driving home from my parents’ house at the end of Christmas Day.
It was late at night, and the only light in the car came from the strings of lights on the houses in the neighborhood. Every single one of us was on the other side of the holiday high, when everything has been opened, when now it is only about the enjoying and remembering.
Peter, who is one of the most intentional individuals I’ve ever met in my entire life, struck a conversation with our two little passengers in the backseat. He’s so careful about the patterns of embracing this moment, of looking at what is good about everything that is happening right this very minute.
He said, “Guys, I want you to think back on every single thing about this day. Think back to the start of the day, when you first came down the stairs to see the tree lit, and all the presents all over the living room floor—just so many presents you could hardly walk through. And think about the things you gave each other, the gifts you gave your mom. Think about when you went to your grandparents’ house, how they had even more surprises for you. Think about the foods and the cookies and the surprises. Just try to take it all in.”
He let the silence fill the car, leading all of us to think and remember. Then he said, “I want to know… what is the best part of this day? What will you remember most about Christmas 2015?”
Without a single moment’s hesitation, Tyler said, “Peter was there.”
I reached for Peter’s hand just as he reached for mine. Our eyes met across the front seat.
He said, “Oh, Tyler, I was not expecting to hear you say that. Of all the toys and gifts, of everything you’ve experienced today… that’s not what I thought you would say. Thank you, Tyler.”
He said, “I’ve waited five Christmases for you, Peter.”
Tucker said, “Now you’re here. You just make everything better.”
I never said a word. I just listened. I held Peter’s hand in the stillness of the drive home. I watched one tear roll down his cheek.