Piano players know what bar they’re in.

June 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Then

“Dad, I love hanging out with you.”

“There will come a day when you don’t think so, but I like hanging out with you, too.”
“What?  No way.  You’re crazy.  I will always want to hang out with you!”

Actual conversation between 11-year-old Amaris and her Daddy while playing basketball, or playing in the dirt, or driving around town.  I don’t remember where we were, exactly, but I remember the conversation nearly verbatim.  It’s one of the many small film clips I have playing in my head of my Dad and me.  They aren’t always pretty film clips.  What family is perfect all the time?  If yours is, write a book and share with the rest of us, k?  You’ll make millions.

Growing up I grew frustrated with my father, as we moved from house to house, school to school, town to town, sometimes in as little as one year.  Before the breaking point, I remember standing in the 3 bedroom, second story apartment we had rented.  It was winter, cold, and we had driven until well after dark.  Dad had gone before us by a week, or a month, I can’t really remember…to start working and find us our new home.  The furniture was still on the truck and he was showing us around what would be our home for just over six months.  I remember thinking that I needed to show him he did a good job.  I remember thinking he needed our support.  It was the week following my eleventh birthday.

Almost always, the film clips come in spurts.  Never all that long, they range from moments of pure frustration to moments of total elation.
There’s the time we screamed at each other in the living room.  Really though, that’s the only bad one.
Well, except Bear.  The first dog I remember, who ran off our big ol’ property in Guilford County late one night and right in the path of a car.  Daddy hugged me while I cried on the carport and then buried our favorite friend under the tree in the backyard.
Countless games of basketball on that very same carport.
The new cat, the new dog (that the new cat hated), the other new cat, the third new cat, the fourth and fifth (which didn’t stay around) and yet another new dog (who was this hyperactive furball, who also didn’t stay around)…we’ve had no shortage of animals in our house.  It has improved our life’s value.
There’s the trip to Disney World, in the brand new van Dad had bought and the first car we all fit in comfortably.  His eagerness to pack in as much as possible had us parked in Mickey #849 and standing at North-South-West Gate 56 before 8am.  But, we saw it ALL, folks.  And he dragged my sister all over the Magic Kingdom, sneaking in to a character breakfast so that she could have a picture with Tigger.  They then promptly snuck out the back door, lest they get caught.
There’s my first car, Bessie the Volvo, he co-signed on.  He had it painted the color I wanted after sneaking the question in during one of our morning rides together.  Both the car and the paint job were a surprise.
He brought pizza and balloons to school, talked his way in to the cafeteria, and surprised me for my birthday.  He then let a RIDICULOUS amount of teenagers invade our living room and rest of house for a swing dance.
He supported my first missions trip, and my second, and my third, and likely will until he can no longer do so.
He was at all of our graduations, screaming and hollering from the stands.
Seven or so years ago, he gifted me the surround-sound speakers that are so awesome I am currently using them right now.  I cannot count the number of times he has saved my behind with computer repair.
He took my brother, as well as the men my sister and I thought we would marry, to play miniature golf, just for the hell of it.
He kept the phone by his bed, got woken up at 3am, dragged Momma down to the front door and told her her “present” (ahem…me) was being delivered.  He and Momma entertained my friend Will and I for almost two hours with cake and milk until almost 6am.  He then drove Will to meet Will’s family, all before the sun came up.
He drove me to work when I moved back in with them and had to sell the Saturn.  We went through the drive-thru for Chick-Fil-A often and he laughed every morning while I held my biscuit out the window so it could cool off.  (What??  It was hot!)
He came to Raleigh to visit and we went to see Thad play at The Pour House.  We sat/stood along a wall bench listening to beautiful music until way past his bedtime.
He rented a truck, helped pack me up, and drove to Raleigh with all my stuff, which he then helped unload and stayed for a day or so to make sure I was good to go.
He repeated that just a month ago, except this time, the truck was local.
A younger version of myself grew frustrated with my Dad.
The older version of myself knows he was just trying to make a better life for us.  Everything he does points to that.
He did a good job.
Everyone deserves a father like this.
I love you, Daddoon!
Happy Father’s Day!

Now

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