Sunday, June 13, 2010
my little dad
With Father's Day coming up next weekend, I was thinking of my dad this morning. (He's still alive-- I just realized how that sounds.) Since he was a Navy SEAL, he likes to cultivate this image of him as a big tough guy, but in reality, he's got about the mushiest center of anyone I've ever known. When I was little and the ice cream truck would go through our neighborhood (yeah, we still had an ice cream truck) he would buy ice cream for the kids who didn't have any money for it.
One time I got in trouble for not watching my brother and sister closely enough- they were screwing around and Katie fell & bumped her head. My dad sent me to my room for the night as punishment. I sulked and pouted because I didn't think it was fair that my 8-year-old self should be responsible for my 6-year-old special needs brother and 3-year-old sister. So I stayed in my room and played with my toys and muttered. It wasn't really even punishment- I had everything I wanted up in my room anyway (you didn't leave your toys out with my brother and semi-feral dog around unless you didn't really care what happened to them.) We only had one tv set and my dad got priority over what we watched which was primarily the evening news, MASH and on Sunday nights, the Muppet Show.
At one point in the evening, I left my room to go to the bathroom down the hall and I found a little pile of offerings in front of my door: some bits of candy, trinkets, and an Electric Company magazine- one of my favorite shows-that had a special feature on the movie Annie which I was obsessed over. I asked my mom about it the next day after my dad had left for work without saying a word. She told me it was his 'peace offering,' that he'd felt awful about punishing me but didn't know how to apologize.