This post was originally written on July 4th, 2016, almost 2 1/2 months before my daughter was born.
Earlier today, my wife, Suzie, and I went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Queens.
I was reminded to take this one in by the look of a stranger at a table for one.
The restaurant was the location of our first date over eight years ago. This day, we sat two booths down from where it all started.
Suzie is six months pregnant, and there was no more guessing if she was “with child” or recovering from a big meal.
As we left after a delicious meal, we walked by a table where a gentleman in his seventies was sitting. He was wearing a yellow polo and slacks, feasting on a chicken parmigiana, a side of pasta with tomato sauce and a glass of sweet tea.
He sat their quietly as families gathered around the surrounding tables. There was a mother and daughter in our old booth. Grandparents with twin boys were across the way, near parents and their teenage son.
The old timer took in a meal on a Sunday afternoon, perhaps reminding him of similar days when he stared into the eyes of his partner, his children and loved ones.
As we walked away, I caught his eyes staring at my wife. He noticed her belly and a subtle smile developed on his tired face.
I wonder what he though of at that moment.
Was it of days when his beloved carried his child or stories of his own mother who created him?
Maybe he thought of his daughters who sat at different tables with their children in a distant land?
Perhaps he was wondering what could have been if he took a different path at a past fork in the road.
I grabbed my love’s hand as we walked to our car, recognizing the memory being made of this day that I will one day recall.
Put a circle around this one in the scorecard of my life.