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Yesterday evening, I sat on the sofa surrounded by children and looked through my photo albums. I started at #2 album. That’s my childhood. (#1 is Jeff’s childhood, because he is older than me, just in case you were wondering.)
I love photos. I’m so glad I organized those darn albums, because even though they can make me feel sort of sad and weird everytime I think backwards through time, they also make me so grateful for my childhood.
I found this picture:
That’s my Dad reading to me. Doesn’t he have a hip shirt on? (And isn’t that green toile sofa awesome?)
My Dad worked so hard for us. He would leave at 5 in the morning and come home around 6 every evening. There is something to be said about those times when a man never expected, asked, or desired any help from his wife in terms of providing for his family. Now don’t get all offended and weirded out by that comment, I know anyone can pick that sentence apart and crucify me, I just think he did what he had to do to provide and come hell or high water, he was going to accomplish that task, and he was proud of that, and there was no question in his mind that what my mom was doing was the most important thing on earth.
I remember sometimes laying in my bed, in those early morning hours, when the snow was a couple feet deep and the thermometer read below zero, and I’d pray for my Dad’s car to start. Really, I would.
Because sometimes it wouldn’t, and I’d hear him come in, the door would bang, and then he’d go back out and try again. I’d pray and pray and pray, because I know he must have been freezing and frustrated and he needed to get to work. Sometimes he’d even have to plow the whole driveway and fix his car, and if he did plow, of course he’d do the whole street too, and the neighbors driveways, because that’s the way he does things.
In the summer, when I was really little, I’d run out and greet him with notes I wrote. My Mom kept a stationary drawer in her bedroom, and I’d have lots of pretty stationary to pick from (yes, she’d let us pick from everything because that’s the way my mom does things) and we’d run as soon as we’d hear the car (back then a VW Bug) on the driveway and hand him lots of little notes. He always looked really tired, but he would smile and say thank you.
On Sunday, my Dad would brush out my tangly (Johnson’s No More Tangles was my best friend) hair while he watched 6o minutes. 6o minutes was (and still is?) torture to any child. Boring beyond belief. But I’d sit there because I loved when my Dad did this. In my mind, I was getting all the attention, and probably making my sisters jealous, but in reality they were probably happy as heck they didn’t “have” to sit there and watch Utter Boringness. I have that memory come back to me everytime I hear the tick-tick-tick-tick stopwatch in the beginning, when I watch it now.