in his backyard haven

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Did you forget you have 5 kids?

Some of us were reminiscing the other day and we recalled that Dad really is a neat freak - when he has the energy for it. He used to be really great about keeping everything orderly and tidy. He almost expected things to be "museum-like" or operating room orderly. This made us proud. Thinking back though, we wondered if sometimes dad forgot that he had 5 children.

Here are some memories that made us wonder:

  • One time Dad was sitting on the sofa watching 60 Minutes. He had a cocktail poured and he apparently had it sitting on the seat cushion next to him. As a little girl I entered the room and saw him, not the cocktail. I wanted to sit by him and cuddle up while he watched TV. I ran to him in order to pounce up next to him and I have this vivid memory that his arms suddenly flailed - as if to stop me - and I missed the signal and launched his cocktail right off the sofa. Who puts their drink on a seat cushion?
  • Dad used to have this model of the Titanic. It was a great model - probably 3 feet long and 2 feet high. He put it all together and placed it on top of his roll-top desk which was positioned near a stairwell. One too many times something would come down the stairs and barely miss hitting that Titanic. The biggest problem is that while Dad had put it all together, for some reason he hadn't glued it permanently in place. Which made it highly susceptible to destruction. Liz paid the ultimate price for that one. She (or Mom) made the mistake of placing her graduation announcements from high school on top of the desk near that model. The result? Model breakage and Dad was so mad he tossed her graduation announcements into the trash compactor. Just as he was about to press the button, Mom came to the rescue and saved those costly things. I'm not sure if she just took the blame or what, but she saved the day.
  • While Dad was stationed in Italy for his service, he purchased a couple of statues of Italian people. One was a lady selling fish and another was of a man - I forget what he was doing. He brought those home and we all admired them. They were from Italy and therefore very cool. Where did Dad choose to display them? On top of some stereo speakers that were about thigh high and placed on a floor near a chair. (Early 80's surround sound I guess). Unfortunately one of  Joe and my secret parties got a little out of hand one time and that stereo got turned up really high. I vividly remember witnessing that statue of that little Italian man spontaneously explode due to the volume of the stereo. I'm not sure which was worse: that Dad could trust putting a statue on an item that was only 2.5 feet off the floor, or that Dad could trust leaving town and letting Joe and I have the place to ourselves for a few weeks. (Recall: Dirt, Rocks and Missiles? The parties were the reason we were behind in packing)
  • Even up until 2 weeks ago, Dad had his most prized newest purchase - an 8 car locomotive collectible - sitting at coffee table height on a track that extended past a doorway. Luckily his neighbor and RR buddy noticed the potential epic fail in that set up and got it mounted to the wall just before he came home from the hospital. Otherwise my two daughters, or husband at worst would have surely knocked that one off it's tracks.
And so, I can't help but wonder sometimes. Was Dad trying in his own way to teach us all to be careful around nice things. Or did he really just forget that he managed to produce 5 children and subsequently 4 grandchildren and that sometimes kids just don't see things in the same way that he does (even though he really is the consummate kid at heart!)

1 comment:

  1. My Barbies used to play with those statues and some fancy Virgin Mary statue and some wooden African dudes, too. My Barbies had lots of diverse friends.

    What I have learned from a life living with dad, is that nice things are breakable. I now have a house full of nice things, aka breakable. But, what was great about it all, is that despite having 5 kids, mom and dad's house never looked like they had kids. Their home never turned into a giant toy box that so many other people with kids have.