Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bartholomew Cubbins Met A King

The other day Abby sent me an e-mail asking if I knew my blog profile said I was a daughter.  I thought it was funny that she didn’t think of me as a daughter.  It didn’t enter her brain.  In her mind, SHE is the daughter and I am the mother.  After I thought about it, though, I realized thinking of my parents as somebody’s son or daughter had never entered my brain either.  I never thought of my dad, who I once (but only once) defied by refusing to call home and tell him what I would be doing after a high school football game, as a son.  That night when he, normally in bed well before 10:00 p.m., was waiting up for me, alone, in the living room, at midnight, I definitely did not see him as somebody's son. 

When I was a gangly, awkward kid who had bottled up and buried experiences I didn't want to remember, my dad married a woman who brought order, warmth and security into my life.  But it didn't occur to me she might be somebody’s daughter.  She was my mom.  Actually, she was my life-saving super mom.  Unfortunately, as much as I wished for it, she never did put those super powers to work and transform me from the nerdy kid who spent Saturdays at the library into one of the cool kids who spent their Saturdays downtown or hanging out at the local burger joint.  I guess maybe she was a smart mom too.  

So I can understand how Abby doesn’t think of me as a daughter.  But we are all daughters or sons.  Some of us just happen to also be mothers or fathers.  And as sons and daughters and mothers and fathers we are watching out for, and taking care of each other.  And it’s not necessarily the fathers and mothers taking care of the sons and daughters.  Just ask my Dad how much he loved having me take care of him after his knee replacement as I forced encouraged him to do his physical therapy exercises three times a day.  Ask him how thrilled he was to receive the shoestring with beads I’d made so it would be easy for him to count his repetitions after I’d gone home.  Unfortunately he’s not “here” for you to ask him.  But I’m pretty sure I know what he would answer if he was.   He would say, “Thank you, Cathy.  That was very thoughtf  …”

What was that, Dad?  What’d you say? ... I'm not quite catching it ... 

Was ... days ... ntil ... yo ... lea ...!
Anyway, I’m sure he enjoyed the beads and I was happy I could be there for him.  And my “help” during his recovery gave us a chance to see another side of each other; just like Abby will now also see me as a daughter, not just a mother. 

I answered Abby’s e-mail to me about my blog profile with this response:

“I AM a daughter, goofball.  Unless Grandma and Grandpa just painted a face on a volleyball and stuck arms and legs in it.” (Which now that I am reading it back to myself makes absolutely no sense to me.)

To which she answered:

“I KNOW THAT, silly, but you don't spell it: daugher”*

And now she also sees me as an idiot.

*which I have fixed.  Thanks, Ab.


Abby said...

I'm glad you included that last part, otherwise people might have thought that I'M an idiot ;-)

Jerry said...

I have thought about how to reply to you about your relationship with me (dad), but decided there is not enough space here to do it. BUT I do remember the night that I was waiting up for you. I don't think you ever did it again. Anyway you turned out ok despite my efforts.

Art Elser said...

Wonderful story about your dad waiting up for you. I remember doing that with my daughter after she decided to go to a party after a high school football game, rather than come home right away. Must be something daughters do to test their dads. :-)

Don't you hate it when your kids catch you spelling something wrong or passing on some piece of vital but erroneous info? They have such a superior air about them when they do that. Although I'm sure Abby didn't.

Do you have "Wilson" stitched or branded somewhere on your face?