Trying this out after quite a long time away. Let’s see what happens.
An interesting trend is emerging as the boy gets older. His quick wit and sarcasm are becoming a force for his sisters to overcome.
Complaining that her camp buddy defied the buddy system and left her alone in the restroom, the oldest girl made the mistake of conversing about it within earshot.
“Maybe she just forgot and was in a hurry to get back to the rec hall” her mom replied, with great empathy.
“Maybe she just didn’t like you anymore” the boy added, with a bit less empathy.
“Dad, I don’t know why or how, but sometimes I can just draw things really well” said the red head.
“That’s because drawing is one of your talents” dad responded.
“My talents?” she asked.
The boy chimed in at this point. “Yeah, you know, like playing the DS is my talent.”
Recently the girls were lamenting the fact that they could not stay and watch a movie at a swim club party.
“Mom, why can’t we stay and watch?”
“Well, there’s just some language in the movie that we feel is inappropriate for your age group” mom so eloquently replied.
“What kind of language?” asked the red head.
“Just inappropriate language.”
1.) Ask question. 2.) Pause ever so briefly for the answer. When the answer is given, immediately follow it up with a question from a completely unrelated category. 3.) Repeat.
“Mom, did you know the word ‘soup’ is a sight word?”
“How did you guys get engaged?”
“Can you eat a slug?”
“Dad, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?” the red-headed girl asked me during the pool-side chat.
“What’s that dear?”
“A vulcanologist!” she replied.
“You want to study volcanoes?” I asked… ” I thought you wanted to be a singer.”
“Oh yeah! Well, I can do both!” she exclaimed.
“So you want to be a singing vulcanologist?”
I have no doubt she will be able to pull it off famously.
This summer has been incredible. I really don’t know how else to describe it yet. It was a good summer, but it was not without its difficulties. One might say that often times in life the best roller coaster rides are often the ones with the highest highs and the lowest lows. I am beginning to wonder if this is also true of the palindrome that is life.
I was fortunate. I had the opportunity some people never have. Dad and I had several conversations in which we said most of the things that needed to be said before he left. (The rest I will ask him later.)
I knew my dad first and foremost a provider. He was the driving force in my education, making sure that I got the degree. . . “You must have that piece of paper, son…”
One odd thing about life is that just about the time you start to live it, you realize that you have missed out on many areas that have sort of just been going on around you the entire time. For 18 years I lived in his house, ate at his table, went to church and sometimes to work with him. After that I worked for him and with him, and watched him go through incredible difficulties with his business, his career, his health.
It wasn’t until seeing some pictures of him as a young 20 something in the military that I realized what it was I had been missing. I didn’t really know him as a young adult. I wondered if he and I were to meet at the same age, would we be friends? Would our interests coincide, would our beliefs and ideas align, or would we say hello in passing and go our separate ways?
My sister seems to think that we would have definitely been great friends. “He was an electronics nerd, you are a computer nerd – you guys would definitely have been friends.”
Dad was a Vietnam Veteran, yet another side of him which I knew very little about. He very rarely talked about it. He clearly did not enjoy talking about it. I cannot imagine the horror of what he must have gone through. It took him almost 30 years to begin to talk about it – enough time for me to grow up, graduate, leave home, get married, start a family, and begin wondering how to do this father thing in a way that honored him.
Driving up to the cemetery we were met by six strangers who never knew my father, never talked with him, and yet they served together. These six strangers stood in 100 degree heat, 100 percent humidity, dressed in uniform, and performed the solemn duties assigned to them with precision. They honored my father and his service to our country in a way that I will always remember.
Someone once told me that as parents, we should strive to make our ceiling be the flooring for our kids. My dad sort of went nuts with that concept and did that to the extreme. He always had a penchant for doing something to just about every house we ever lived in. He would get up one morning, think “Hmmm. This would be a nice breakfast room. Where’s my hammer?” and go to town. Dad wasn’t satisfied with the ceiling. He had to add on a few rooms above the garage.
When he stopped adding on to the house, he left a massively high floor for each of his offspring. Five kids, six diplomas between us – not bad. My success in life is due largely to the fact that my father provided most of it for me as I grew into the person I am today. And that legacy will continue to live on, as I pass it on to my own children.
I love my dad. Knowing him has made me want to continuously become a better person. And so we move on, striving, raising the ceiling just a bit higher for the next generation.