What a little yellow car taught me about life

Let me take you back to June, 2016, and the smell of decadent breadsticks, garlic, and roasted tomatoes filling the air. The location is Olive Garden, and the day is my birthday. My small family surrounds me, good food anticipated by all. The day thus far had been quiet and fun, and was ending deliciously.

A year before that, around the same time, my birthday had been celebrated by a big dance, lots of friends, bagpipes, and too much cake and pie. It was magical. And yet somehow, not quite as magical as that simple, easy restaurant meal with my family.

We're taught to believe that life is best with more. More cars, more food, more friends, more... the list goes on. Quantity is key.

My birthday party had all the quantity (and the quality, I don't deny); and yet somehow the simplicity, the ease, the lack of things at that dinner at Olive Garden was just... perfect.

Let's switch back to the scene at hand. The meal is eaten, in all it's steaming, Italian glory. I'm sitting next to my sister and her beau (now husband), and I ask her to finally reveal the gift she and Gabe had been keeping secret from me all day. She pulls out a little box, sweetly wrapped. I undo it, and reveal a little yellow Volkswagon beetle.

Sorry, got to give a backstory again: Yellow Car is a game that is a favorite of our's to play with Brigid and Gabe. It has an inside-joke behind it, and from it I developed an undying affection for little yellow cars: more specifically, little yellow Volkswagon beetles. 

When I held this little yellow car in my hand, bliss was mine. It sounds absolutely silly, and maybe I am easily impressed and overjoyed. I got to eat at my very favorite restaurant, and I got a little yellow toy car. That was all I needed. Big presents and birthdays are fun, and have their place. But this birthday furthered my love for simplicity. For little things. For those fun gifts that don't provide much function, but are loaded with memories and joys.

Now, when I see that little yellow car on sitting on my desk, it takes me back to that happy time. Pulling back the tiny black tires and watching it zoom across the table brings me back to that childlike feeling of joy, utter joy, in that simple, sweet, delicious evening.

So what did a little yellow car teach me about life?
That you don't need a lot to be happy. Sweet memories, and little things to remember those times by are enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment