I've never really been a fan a sloppy joes. Honestly, I think they are disgusting. But last night I ate one simply because there was nothing else to eat. That first bite brought back a rushing flood of memories and all of a sudden it didn't matter that I was eating a disgusting sloppy joe.
I remember Grandpa used to butter my bun or roll and grill it to give the bread more flavor to cut out some of the sloppy joe flavor. I actually really like sloppy joes this way. Grandpa always concocted things that seemed strange at first, but then I would end up loving them. Another example includes cream cheese spread on graham crackers, this snack I fell in love with instantly, and what I associated with it, discussions of important matters (like the mean boys at recess, and why the water fountain made them more dumb, and who I thought should be the next president, and why yo-yo's and jacks were stupid fads that would fade quickly as my generation moved onto jr high, etc...) while eating this delicious snack with Grandpa.
That single bite of a horrible sloppy joe made me look back and realize that Grandpa was my best friend growing up. He pulled my loose teeth when I couldn't stand doing it myself, he and I were always the last at the dinner table conversing about the latest elementary school gossip, he never fought with me, and he never ever forgot my birthday - he just gave me hugs or a shoulder to cry on when I needed that. Thank you, Grandpa.
As the night continued more childhood memories were brought to the front of my mind. Red Rover I believe is a common childrens game. I have yet to have an experience with Red Rover where someone did not want to cry. I commend Wesley, the sweet twelve-year-old son of my current Bishop, for having the tenacity to play with a bunch of college students. He wasn't in the game long, but he was a strong player. I felt my heart slightly twinge when I saw the tears well up in his eyes. Those little boy tears that don't actually spill out, but that give the eye a glassier than normal look. I wanted to grab him in my arms and just hug him for being so strong, and for not being angry at the college student who could have easily snapped his arm in half. Wes walked away with his head held high and in that short moment I saw him turn from boy to man in the eyes of many who watched him turn down playing another round. I could tell his father was proud of him.
The night wore on with banana splits, jokes, music, and silly YouTube videos amongst my roommates and I. We even started filming a music video (yes we are that ridiculous). We found ourselves agreeing to play capture the flag with other young adults from our ward. I believe the last time I played capture the flag as a night game was sometime while I was in jr high. I never was much of an avid night gamer anyway. I liked to keep to myself, I felt better that way. My body now regrets the exercise considering I'm not in the best shape (still working on that since my accident). However, I wouldn't trade any of last night for anything. Sometimes reverting to simpler things makes life seem so much better.