The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Power Gloves

“A father's words are like a thermostat that sets the temperature in the house." - Paul Lewis

I was traveling home from Texas on Father's Day so I didn't get to truly enjoy the company of my dad on this special day. Not that being featured in my blog totally makes up for that, but I do get floods of letters asking to be mentioned in "The Fabulous Familiar" so it is quickly becoming a top gift item according to Hallmark polls.

Ok, so I may have just made most of that up.

But I did want to take a minute and reflect on my relationship with my dad. A lot of times you don't really appreciate your parents until you get older and realize what all they did for you; I know this realization will be even greater when I become a parent myself.

Getting a job and being worn out all the time has brought to my attention the truly special nature of my dad. He taught school all day, had after-school rehearsals but would still come in and get down on all fours and play with us.

I remember how he would put on his "power gloves" which were nothing but gloves he put on to lift weights, and he would wrestle with us on the playroom floor. Our mission was to take the "power gloves" off so that he would immediately lose strength and we could defeat him quite easily. Ryan and I would usually pin him down while scrawny Kelsey would sneak behind and undo the Velcro on the gloves. After the gloves were torn from his hands, he would flop on his back like a fish out of water and we would giggle with delight that the triumphant three had once again been successful.

I didn't think of the significance then, but anytime we were in a body of water I insisted that we play "The Little Mermaid." Even though he knew it was always the same routine, he would listen as I laid out the rules of the game: "Dad, I'm Ariel and you are Ursula." He never complained about his plight; he just smiled as I butchered the "Ahh ahh ahh" song and made him swivel back and forth to get me like he had 8 tentacles.

The imaginary games we put him through were endless, but he still made it a point to spend time with us when he got home. I remember watching him play football and basketball games with my brothers while I donned my mother's old cheerleading outfit and high heels on the sideline.

We haven't always seen eye to eye, but through it all, he has always been a voice of reason and his decisions always had us at heart. Any time he would upset me or if he knew I needed encouragement, I would find a note on my pillow. I found one a while back that addressed a squabble we had about dating at 16. I know I probably huffed and put it in a shoebox at the time, but it really showed me just how understanding he TRIED to be during my early teenage years.

I really do believe that the father is a crucial part of setting the tone for the house. I am fortunate that my father chose to set the tone with laughter, music and stories. I still remember hanging on to his every word as he told us haunted house stories and the famous tale of the boy who was born with a screw in his bellybutton. We knew the ending, but we waited for it every time: "The boy finally found a doctor who would remove the screw." He would wave his hands in the air like he was performing the surgery himself. "The boy got up from the table and shouted, 'The screw is out of my bellybutton! I'm free!'"
...and then his bottom fell off. We would die with laughter and I am smiling now just thinking about the ridiculous stuff that made us roll on the floor.

I think my appreciation can be summed up in the quote, "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." I noticed things he probably didn't even realize I was watching (which is the scariest part of being a future parent I think...) One particular moment that all this became apparent to me was when he signed up for the Ozark Trek with me. The man, like me, is not an outdoorsy person. He prefers reading to repelling and instrumentation to insects. Yet he grabbed his hiking ski poles and came along for the adventure to spend more time with me.

He didn't say, "I am doing this to show you I want a relationship with you," but he didn't have to. Just his actions and his good-natured attitude showed me that he was in this for me.

So Happy Father's Day to the man who wasn't too proud to be Ursula, a fairy god mother and a cross-dresser. Power gloves or no power gloves, your strength is evident to your children daily.

All my love, Ashton


Blogger Daddio said...

Thanks, Ashton! That's the best Father's Day present ever!

June 21, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger HannahKey said...

Oh, the days of Ursula and ridiculous ghost stories! How I do remember them well! He always has been a good sport, haha. It was so good to see you, Ashton!

Love you.

June 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Ronda said...

So sweet! Great memories and a good laugh and cry!! Ha.. Love ya

June 21, 2010 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Cole said...

Aww. I don't even know what to say other than Great post :)

June 23, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

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