I thought for Father's Day I would write some things that I remember about my Dad when I was small. Maybe I'll also write a little about my husband as a Dad. I can do this atleast once a year can't I? :P
When I was growing up, my father traveled for much of the week. My memory is that he would leave on Monday morning, and get back in to town Friday afternoon. That schedule probably varied, giving him one or two days more at home some times, but I think by and large that was his routine. Even though he wasn't home much, he did give quality attention to me, and although they say quantity is just as important as quality, what he gave to me was what I needed. In particular my father would rock me and sing to me. Even as a big girl, like 7 or 8 years old, he would still rock me and sing to me. My father has a beautiful singing voice. In our family we have several lullaby-type songs that are kind of family tradition. He would sing these to me, at my request. One I remember had lyrics that went like this:
Tell me a story, tell me a story, tell me a story before I go to bed.
You promised you would, you said you would tell me a story.
Tell me a story and I will go to bed.
He also sang....hmm....I think it is called "Go tell Aunt Rhody", but our family always sang it, "Go tell Aunt Abby". Aunt Abby was a great Aunt of mine that lived down the hill from my grandparents.
As an adult, I sang these same songs to my children. I liked them as a child, but as an adult, one song in particular kind of gave me the creeps. lol The words go:
An old lady was chasing her boy round the room
Chasing her boy with a broom
Peek a boo, I see you...
Hiding behind the door
Over there behind the chair
I know where you are.
A little creepy eh? For some reason I didn't question it as a child, and didn't think it creepy, and when something is tradition, you sometimes don't think much about it. I guess that goes hand in hand with many nursery rhymes today that had less than idyllic backgrounds. But I digress......
Another thing I remember about my father as a child was that he wasn't ticklish. As an adult, I have tried to make my kids think I wasn't, but I think they could always tell I was. But to this day I really believe my father isn't. I tried everything possible to tickle him. He would make this fake, high pitched "hee hee hee" laugh that obviously wasn't real. That laugh always made me laugh. But I know it wasn't real because he could stop it immediately and his face would go normal. I have asked my mother as an adult, and she has confirmed that he really isn't ticklish.
One more memory of my Dad. One night my brother "Twist's Tales" and I were coming home from a young adult activity when we heard this strange noise coming from upstairs. It sounded like crying, or moaning or something. We were afraid someone was hurt, so we hurried up to my parent's bedroom. My parents were sitting in bed watching television. My Dad had been listening to Steve Allen and was laughing so hard he was crying. Steve Allen had told the joke about when he was in the hospital. Every day they brought him apple juice, and eventually he got sick of it. In addition, every day the nurse would ask to see his urine jar, and would make some comment like, "I see we have been a good boy today". One day he was fed up with the apple juice, so he emptied the urine jar and cleaned it and poured in the applejuice. When the nurse came in and asked to see it, she commented,"My, we are a little cloudy today". Steve Allen said, "Maybe we should run it through again"', and picked up the container and drank it. My father was beside himself with laughter. (sorry Steve, I know I just butchered your joke)
My husband is a wonderful father. He has patience at times that I can't seem to find in myself. His whole view of things is different, and he can relax more at times. For example, when my children were little and were throwing tempter tantrums, he would hold them and try to calm them down. If they continued to scream he would playfully call out, "Louder!". Of course that just made them more mad, but it broke the tension for us as adults.
I remember once my two year old daughter was fussing in church, so he took her out in the foyer. She was throwing a fit, and he tried everything to appease her, but it didn't work. Finally he held her upside down. She yelled out, "Hey! Be careful with my body!"
One thing that my children have loved the most is that my husband wrestles with them. Sometimes he pretends that they have got the best of him, but they know that he could get away if he really wanted. When my daughter was almost five she broke her leg. My husband was wrestling with my little boy, and my daughter had on a cast, so I took her shopping with me instead of leaving her home. While we were out shopping she turned to me and said, "Do you think Dad and J... are still wrestling?". I soon found that she didn't let a cast get in the way of wrestling with her Dad.
I'm grateful that I had a good Dad, and that my husband is a good Dad to my kids. That one simple thing can make all the difference in the world. Happy Father's Day!