Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Sometimes I think I can actually remember it, but in reality, I just remember my dad telling me about when I was a baby standing in my crib. "Show me your toesies," he'd say. I would pull up my night gown and show him my toes. He thought I was so smart.

Actually, a baby's receptive language develops before their expressive language, (they understand a lot more than they can actually say), but I never did share that tidbit with Dad. I liked that he thought I was a wise little cracker jack at ten months old.

My dad gave me horsey back rides and wheeled me around the block in my toy wheel barrow when I was a preschooler. On hot summer nights we sat on the lawn as a family of four, or we went to Chain of Rocks Park to try to catch a breeze high atop a bluff. Frequently he treated my brother and me to foot long hot dogs, ice cream cones and real pony rides. He strummed his guitar and made up songs with my name in them. He told stories about Lazy Elmer, a grasshopper who was forever getting into trouble. I imagined Lazy Elmer as a big kid, a teenager. Lazy Elmer would not do his chores, he'd go off with his friends, then sneak into the house late at night and try not to creak the floor boards. Just when he thought he was tucked safely into his bed, his parents would tell him to wake up and take his medicine (punishment). Dad used different voices and intonation for dialogue. I can't tell you how many nights I wanted Elmer to get away with his misdeeds. But he always had to suffer the consequences of his actions ... life lessons to my little brother and me.

When I was four, I walked to Tucci's Market in Walnut Park, with my father. An older girl walked in with her father and called him Dad. I asked DADDY what Dad meant, which proved I wasn't as smart as he thought. When he explained, I was thrilled with my newfound word and over used it proudly as we walked three blocks home.

Dad had a child-like quality; he was playful, and my younger brother and I thought of him as the fun parent. Now I realize Mom HAD to be serious, she had three kids :)

On this Father's Day, I pay tribute to my late dad for making me feel special, calling me his little boss and making me feel smart. Dad had a third grade education. He couldn't read me a bedtime story, but his oral story telling kept me spell bound. He captivated old and young alike with his ghost stories.

Without either of us realizing it at the time, his stories helped me to develop into the writer I am today.

Happy Father's Day to my husband for being the very best father and grandfather. He knows he is cherished. Today our home will overflow with children and their spouses and our grandchildren. We will over eat, rehash old memories and create new ones.

Hats off to all of the men who stepped up to the plate when bio-fathers couldn't or wouldn't.

I can't belive this, but I should, because I do not believe in coincidence. I was just preparing lunch when something caught my eye, (bigger than a floater). It was a grasshopper walking up the kitchen window. Not a red-eyed cicada, but a real GRASSHOPPER. Hello, Dad.

18 comments:

Sioux said...

Way before I got to the end of your post, I connected your dad's stories to your gifts as a writer. It sounds like your dad was a wonderful one. Have fun today with your family.

Odie Langley said...

My dad died in 1974 and the last year was not good for him having cancer that put him in a very weakened state. I like to remember him in his element tending his country store where I grew up. I really enjoy helping him wait on customers, sort drink bottles, stock shelves,etc. Those are my good memories.

Bookie said...

How lucky you were to have not only a good day,but a STORYTELLER DAD! Have a wonderful day, Linda.

Tammy said...

Shoes off to this post--I think your daddy read some pretty smart things in those toes, since you obviously DO have a superior grasp of language. Amen to all of it and hope you, Bill and the rest of your family enjoy the day!

Thisisme. said...

Hi Linda. I loved that very last sentence that you wrote. So true! What a lovely, heartwarming post in tribute to you late dad. A lovely Fathers Day gift for him, and you have such lovely memories to cherish. I hope you have had a day filled with fun and love. That's a super new photo of you in your sidebar by the way.

jabblog said...

Surely that's no coincidence. Lovely memories:-)

Carol said...

Great post. I was thinking when you were telling about your dad telling you stories.....a-HA! That's where you got your writing ability!

Chatty Crone said...

No coincidences - I always see a Greyhound Bus - he used to work there - at really special times.

Happy Father's Day.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

The best dads are often not the smartest, richest, strongest or bravest - but the love they have for their children surpasses whatever flaws that society might pin on them.

We are the lucky ones - we had dads who cared and answered our childish questions, and left us with loving memories.

Susan said...

Nice post, Linda. Loved the story aboutyour day. Hey, by the way, Lazy Elmer would make a GREAT children's story. Why not? Hope your day was great. Susan

Susan Fobes said...

What a sweet story Linda.

Life@Cee said...

Such precious memories, and what a great legacy.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh, that was wonderful, Linda! I think you should write up those Lazy Elmer stories. I love it!

Beth M. Wood said...

Lazy Elmer could be a series of childrens' books - love it! Your dad gave you a wonderful gift! I can't believe it's been four years since you told me about the online magazine looking for stories for their Father's Day issue. Publishing that first piece gave me confidence in my abilities as a writer - I'm so thankful to you for that! I posted the article on my blog in honor of Father's Day (http://bit.ly/mEolWi ). How time flies!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Beautiful tribute to your daddy. You were a lucky little boss then, and a lucky lady now to have such cherished memories. Thanks for sharing them.

Barb Hodges said...

How wonderful, Linda, to have those memories. What a testament to the power of your Dad's storytelling legacy.

irishoma said...

Hi Linda,
What a lovely post to your father and your husband. Sounds like your dad was a wonderful man and father--and gifted storyteller.
Donna

Lynn said...

Very lovely post.