Posted tagged ‘fathers’

“Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.”

March 3, 2014

It was a put a mirror under her nose to see if she is breathing sort of morning. I woke up at 8 and decided I didn’t want to get up so I went right back to bed. Around 10:30 I finally got up, had time for one cup of coffee and one newspaper then got dressed as Gracie had her senior dog check-up at noon. She loves going to the vets. She is so active the vet said without the gray around her muzzle she would have guessed Gracie was far younger than eight. Because Gracie gets a little excited, they take her out back for her shots, blood drawing and nail cutting. Strangely enough, she is quiet while everything is being done to her. She weighs exactly the same as she did 6 months ago during her last senior dog physical. The vet said she seems great. Right now she is sleeping on the couch and resting from her ordeal.

When I was a kid, we had a boxer named Duke. He never had yearly check-ups. I think he only got rabies shots, but I can’t attest to that as I don’t remember. I’m just assuming. After Old Yeller I think all the dogs got rabies shots. Duke was a fighter. During one fight, a massive dog tore Duke around the neck. My dad said time would heal it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vets where he got shots and the wound taken care of. In those days my dad was away all week as he had been transferred, and we were waiting for school to end before we moved. He was home only on weekends. When he saw Duke and how well the wound was healing, he made mention of I told you so to anyone who would listen. We had been sworn to secrecy so we just nodded and let him think he had been right.

We lived by the motto that what my father didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. My mother was usually a co-conspirator. We could tell her anything, and she’d pick and choose what to tell my father. It made life so much easier. We also learned how to look repentant when he yelled. Most times we were just blocking him out and nodding our heads as he yelled at us for whatever, but we always looked sorry and a bit sheepish. The four of us perfected that look. He never figured it out.

“If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and a uniform that wasn’t the same as the one I was wearing, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother.”

January 23, 2012

When I woke up, I thought it was raining. I could hear drops falling to the deck from the roof, but when I came downstairs, I saw it wasn’t rain at all. It was the sound of snow melting from the eaves and the roof. It is 42° and will stay warm for the next few days. We are back in the middle of our strange winter.

My headache is gone and my teeth have stopped aching. The Patriots’ AFC game yesterday was the culprit which caused the pain. It was an amazing game, not a good game, but an amazing game, the sort that doesn’t let you relax, the sort that keeps your stomach in knots. We were on our feet with hands in the air calling each touchdown and we’d sit right back down to moan the turnovers, the lost opportunities and the threes and out. It came down to a few seconds and a kicker as to whether or not we’d go into overtime. We, my friends and I and I suspect most people watching, held our collective breaths once the ball was kicked. We watched the field goal go left of the posts, and we cheered. Bring on the Superbowl!

I am a Tom Brady fan and became even more of one yesterday. When asked about the game, Tom said, “Well I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us. I’m gonna go out and try and do a better job in a couple of weeks.” You have to love an honest man.

My father was a football fan. On Thanksgiving he had the record time for finishing his entire meal, including a turkey leg, so he could rush back to TV and football. In those days, I shutter to admit, he was a Giants fan because there were no Patriots.

My father was a screamer. He’d yell at poorly executed plays and moan loudly at fumbles or sacks. It didn’t matter that he was alone watching the games. He was perfectly connected with the TV and the action on the field and didn’t need anyone else. If we happened to join him, he’d just point to the TV, turn to us and ask if we’d seen the play that had him screaming. He didn’t care whether we answered.

When the Patriots won their first Superbowl, we all talked about my Dad and how much he would have loved his hometown team taking the trophy. In two weeks I’ll be thinking of him again when the Giants play the Patriots. I have no doubt as to where his allegiance would be.

“Families are about love overcoming emotional torture.”

February 4, 2011

The sun is shining. It has been gone a long while. I missed it.

In my town, this time of year, there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff to do so winters found us inside far more than we liked. The theater had one matinee on Saturday, and it was usually filled though the balcony remained empty by choice of the owner: too many opportunities for flying candy missiles. The bowling alley was another choice, but that was really expensive to a kid on a 50 cent allowance. You had to rent shoes then pay for alley time. Begging for a bit more money from my mother sometimes helped. It was candlepin bowling. You know, those little balls, because that’s what every bowling alley around here had. I was never a very good bowler. Beyond those, there was nothing outside the house for a kid to do on freezing winter weekends when it was too cold to be out for too long. On the warmer days, though that seems an oxymoron, we could skate for free at the town rink or at the swamp.

I think we drove my mother crazy when all of us were stuck inside the house. Teasing little sisters was fun, but they always screamed to my mother who yelled some threat back to us should we continue. Most times my father was mentioned in the threat. That was enough to make us stop. My father was usually the parent we wanted to avoid when it came to punishment. He’d whack us; my mother seldom did. She was more the screamer. Later when when we were older, she’d occasionally throw things but we always ducked and ran away laughing but not so she could hear us. That would escalated the situation which, for all intents and purposes, had ended with the toss.

When we were in our teens, my father grounded us, but it never lasted for long. He’d tell us we had to miss some important event, one which we’d circled on the calender or bought new clothes for or had been planning for months. We’d cry and stomp our feet but it was all for show. We knew he’d make us stay in our rooms until close to the event then he’d come upstairs and tell us we could go, but it better not happen again.

It my mouth which got me into trouble. A quick wit is not to be used on angry parents or anyone in authority. I was a slower learner. I just couldn’t help myself. I was thrilled when I got old enough to be funny without being sent to my room.