Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Daddy

Watching your parents get older makes you realize your own mortality. That sounds silly to say. I know I'm not immortal or invincible. I may have thought that when I was younger when I jumped off a rock into the river a good 40 feet in the air and landed sitting in the water or when I launched my car off a cliff and had to climb thru blackberries and hike down to strangers house to call my parents. Before both of those outings, my dad told me not to do anything stupid. It's like he had a sixth sense. After the rock jump I couldn't sit right for a week. I was black and blue from the back of my knees to my ass. After launching my car off the cliff I had blackberry thorns in my feet and legs for weeks. After coming home, my car was taken away from me. I wasn't yelled at or berated I knew I had screwed up and knew to take the punishment. From the river it was not being able to sit right, the cliff I couldn't drive my car. Both were torture.
I saw my parents differently than my sister did. My dad has never been yeller, at least, to me he never was. If he wouldn't look me in the eye or didn't speak to me I knew I was in trouble. That alone, was miserable enough. At least if he yelled at me it would be over and done with. That's how my relationship with my dad has always been. I didn't want to disappoint him, I've always wanted him in my corner.
When I was little, my sister and I got paid to pick up acorns from the ground in our front yard. This tree dropped at least 42 million acorns. I had a five gallon bucket and I never remember my sister helping...  I filled that thing at least a hundred times. I would get paid a penny for each one I picked up. No, I didn't keep count nor did my dad. Im wondering if I ever got paid for it. Apparently he was teaching me patience or hard work or something that I would utilize later in life. Ironically, I am a very patient person. I guess it worked.
That's the thing my dad was good at was teaching. He has a sense of patience with me most of the time. He taught me how to back up a trailer. Wait, he attempted to teach me how to back up a trailer... This is the one time he wasn't so patient. Apparently I couldn't turn the wheel the correct way. He was yelling out left and right and pull your head out of your ass and asking if I was in the stupid seat. You know the normal pep talk things that coaches and parents gave you to encourage you. Is that not normal?? After a while I got out of the Jeep and told him if he wanted to back it up he could do it himself. And I might have told him to shove it up his a$$... There were a few expletives in there as my mom watched with her mouth agape on the porch. He asked me how was I supposed to ever drive a trailer if I couldn't back it up. I said easy, not drive one, ever! I still don't know how to back up a trailer. He taught me how to drive a stick, which is a hard task to do. I tried to teach a friend and after five minutes was convinced she was going to kill us and gave up. He taught me how to spit, burp and cuss like a man. I think he secretly wanted a boy and got two girls as punishment for being a rotten lil boy to his parents. :)
Freshman year he helped with a project. I can't remember the exact details of the project but I ended up making a game. It was wired and whenever you touched the correct answer to the correct question it would light up green, if wrong it would buzz and light up red. He showed me the basics and walked away for awhile to see if I could pick it up. Within the hour I had wired the entire game. He was shocked that it worked. He thought he would have to come back and fix it for me, thanks for the faith dad!
My parents moved us up from Southern California to Southern Oregon. Culture shock for them I'm sure. My dad still kept his job in Pasadena. He drove every weekend home. 12 hour commute. He would leave work friday at five from LA traffic and would be home around five am would sleep till nine and then get up and have breakfast with us. He would work in the yard and around the house till dinner. He would leave the next day around 2pm to drive back down to California. No matter the weather, the traffic or how sick he felt. He never called in sick and was always on time for work. Maybe that's why I find it hard to call in sick to work some days??
Things happen, life gets in the way. You forget how lucky you are to have not one parent but both. I feel blessed to be able to see my parents each day. Yes, some days I want to strangle my mom or give my dad the look that asks him what planet he's from or if his head is up his ass. Without him I wouldn't have learned how to stand up for myself or sing silly songs or rotate my tires and change my own oil or to start a fire from scratch. Most of all who would be the papa to my 3 1/2 year old. For the first six months of my sons life my dad watched him for up to 10 hours a day. Tending to his every need. I had charts that showed me Gavin's input vs output each day. lol, that's my dad if anything hes thorough.
My dad doesn't take well to change tho. Surprising, since he moved us to a completely different world all those years ago. I went rafting with my parents and sister a number of years ago and never again. We were all yelling at each other. Keep in mind my mom doesn't know how to swim, so she's terrified. My dad was in the navy so he's good, but I can imagine the panic if any of his girls fell out of the raft. As we were going through a tiny riffle he was yelling at my sister to none other than pull her head out of her ass because we were going to go through the next giant rapid, my dad tends to exaggerate a bit, backwards and thus were going to flip and all meet our doom. My sister retorts back at lightening speed, which has also been taught to us by our dad, that we should just turn around in our spots and we would be facing forward. This rendered my dad speechless. We survived, and we have  great story to tell.
All in all, my dad is my hero. He's not allowed to leave this earth for a good long time. Ya here me up there??!?

1 comment:

Jessie Girl said...

This brought tears to my eyes. My daddy is my hero. No man in my life has ever come close to being as funny, smart, and loving as my dad.