I was an 8-year-old television channel flipper. Remotes hadn't been invented yet, it was the 60's. My Dad is an avid sports fan and on the weekends he enjoyed watching games from his favorite chair on our only tv. The channel knob was just out of reach of his chair, so he gave me the job of flipper. I would sit next to the tv waiting for Dad to give me the signal to flip the knob to the next game he was watching. It made my Daddy happy and I was content to sit there all day flipping channels so he could watch parts of every game televised. I got to spend time with my Dad while learning about sports.
This is just one of many warm memories I have of Pops, that's what I call him now, and whenever I feel unhappy I go to the memory book in my mind and conjure up a cherished snippet. Works every time. It's hard to feel bad when you recall Dad giggling with delight at his Easter prank. He made bunny pawprints (using mud) arranged in a path through the house that led to our baskets. And I always smile when I remember how we would all clear out when he announced he was going to "fix" something. Ruh-roh he has the screwdriver, run for your life kids. Pops isn't very handy.
As I got older I realized my Dad was wise. When I was 16 shopping for my first car he advised me not to buy the souped-up Pontiac Firebird from the used car lot. Told me I didn't need a car like that. He was right. I bought a brand new Ford Pinto instead and drove it till it died.
My Dad's viewpoint on raising children is simple. Whenever we (I have a younger brother who I still lovingly refer to as Brat) did something stupid, he would say to us "I shoulda raised poodles instead of kids, poodles listen." That was his friendly reminder to us that he was getting frustrated. I have said this to my kids on occasion.
My happy memory book is full of fun times with Pops. He's not going to believe this, he doesn't think we were happy as children. We were happy Pops. Sometimes we seemed unhappy but that's just because we were growing up. We were silly kids, then silly teenagers trying to figure things out. Inside, way down deep, we knew we were loved and we were happy.
We should never live in the past, but it's okay to visit there occasionally. Happy memories can sometimes block an unwanted impression from becoming a negative thought. So on this Father's Day get out the memory book and honor your Dad with the gift of remembrance of a happy childhood memory. He will appreciate it. I know Pops will.
I am a child of the 60's, well 1956 to be exact. Writer Erma Bombeck was wildly popular and as a child I truly admired her witty style. Erma is gone now but not forgotten. I started this blog to honor my "inner writer" who was influenced by Erma, and I hope to inspire you in some way. In the spirit of Erma Bombeck, laugh while you heal. Namaste.