I had to change the parameters of what I thought success was. Success might be a plate of eggs with toast or a talk on the curb. Sometimes the most simple thing is the thing that makes the difference. I
No, home is not as simple as the heart-shaped sandwiches Ma placed into my lunch bag on Valentine’s Day or the way my father confessed to listening to me sing shower showtunes or washing a car beside my brother as the summer sun beat down.
Okay, a quick confession—I’m terrible at gifting. I occasionally land on the mark, but most of the time my ideas are either wild guesses or something thrown together in a panic, and I often fall back on the classics . . .
“This,” I say to my daughter, choking up, “is civilization. Not banking, not technology. Not weaponry that kills without a fight. This,” I go on, seeing her face pale, “is what it means to be civilized.”