#13 – Dad (The Birthday Edition)

If you ask my Dad to recount any stories of my birth and my first year of age, you’ll be out of luck.

He saw me enter the world through the hospital room window.  After much false labour, it only took a couple of hours of “real” labour for me to make my appearance.  He almost missed it.  Too busy in the smoke room or playing cards with my uncle I guess.   I’m told he did hear the roars of a woman down the hall, wondered if it was my Mom, but assumed it couldn’t be.  He was wrong.

It wasn’t long after Mom and I came home that Mom had to return to the hospital.  She was very ill.  Kidney failure.  Lots of hours away from home ensued.  Not only did he have to regularly drive over an hour a day to see his wife sick, but he was all of sudden in charge of newborn, and still had to put in his hours at the office he had called his second home since he was 16 years of age.

Once Mom came home, she was really weak and couldn’t take care of me on her own.  Dad quickly learned about diapers and bottle feedings and developed his own soothing tricks.  Though, don’t ask him to tell you any of them… he doesn’t remember.  He does remember waking up in the middle of the night, sitting in a rocking chair, with me in his arms, and freaking out at the thought that he could have dropped me.  He never did.  (That I know of…)

My Dad was always strongly present, but definitely on the sidelines throughout the rest of my childhood.  I had an extremely strong relationship with my Mom (with only the slight “fuck off!” yelled at her when I was 16 to tarnish our near-perfect record.)  I always knew I could trust him and go to him about anything, though I rarely had to because I suspected my Mom told him everything already.   I wouldn’t have known just how vital Dad was to my upbringing when I was a baby if it wasn’t for my Mom.  I think, deep down, she might have felt oddly guilty about missing out on some of the early baby craziness, but she never hesitated to sing Dad’s praises.  I also would never have known that Dad cried every time he watched me perform in Crazy for You when I was 18 if Mom hadn’t told me.

And when my life took a turn for the worse, he was my white knight, taking my girls and me to safely.  Now he continues to make us feel safe, and cared for, and loved.

It’s cliché, but my Dad is the best Dad ever.

 

Advertisements

Day 262-263 – Looking Back

Day 262 –

Someone tagged a picture of me on Facebook that brought back beautiful memories.  When I was 16 (17?), I travelled to Spain with my dance troupe (and mother as one of the chaperones).  It was a huge learning experience for me.  Some of the most memorable moments include:

– Ordering a screwdriver at the hotel bar because I could say “vodka y naranja”… while my mother watched approvingly.

– Spontaneous dance lessons from various dancers from other countries at the festival.  The small community we built in the time we were there was fantastic.

– Dislocating my patella for the umpteenth time, but this time it compromised my ability to perform for the entire festival.  Luckily, there were doctors on site that were extremely helpful and I wasn’t in too much pain.  What made me most sad wasn’t the thought of not being able to dance at the performances, but it was being “responsible” and not going out dancing with my friends after hours.  I guess in the end, that experience helped form my work ethic for the rest of my career.

Day 263 –

My husband loves Canada for many reasons, but one that sticks in my head is that “Canada has so much sky!”  He’s referring to the prairies mostly, but still.  Driving on the highway today, looking forward I saw only blue skies.  Looking in my rearview mirror, all I could see was a beautiful gradation on reds and oranges and yellows.  Canada… happy to be here.

Day 57 – Oh to be a Kid Again!

I found one of these at the grocery store on sale for a ridiculously low price the other day and just couldn’t stop myself from buying it.

I mean, look at it!   It’s a thing of beauty.  I would have adored having something like this as a kid.  Glitter, metallic, neon, the old standbys… this thing has it all.  AND, it has a built-in sharpener.  AND AND, it’s telescopic!

I dare you not to look at that and want to get down on the floor with it, a piece of paper and a snack… stat!

Day 1 – A very good place to start

(By the way, you might want to read the previous post before carrying on.)

Memories.

They are such amazing things.  You can have such a visceral full-body response at simply the thought of someone, or something or somewhere.  While this may not be the desired effect when thinking of a past uncomfortable, sad or difficult moment, this is exactly what you want to feel when thinking about something good.  It’s like a mini-non-harming drug.

My mentor, Rae MacCulloch passed away on Christmas day.  I’m still greatly saddened by her passing, but I can’t tell you how often I’ve smiled in the last few days because of  thinking about her.   Pretty much  99.9% of my memories surrounding that woman are amazing.

Memories are beautiful.

(By the way, if anyone wants to challenge my definition of beauty, feel free!)