Me and My Dad


I think perhaps we never really grow up.

For me, life is like a story; new pages tell the next chapter. For us, it has revealed a version of the fairytale of family that none of us expected. We have been a stunned bunch gathered around the storybook in the last year and a bit. After all the other unexpected plots, this one really takes the cake. This is the one that we least anticipated, and we have covered some hair-raising chapters in the past.

The Little Me found it unthinkable, horrified at how the storyline could get so uncomfortable again, and how suddenly that safe and familiar unit I so loved, divided.

Loud objections to the Author have not erased the words. The pages of days just keep turning and even though I might want to go back and read that astonishing twist over and over, just to make sure I read it right, I have been confronted with the fact that I am merely a character as we all are, and have no say in where the story goes. I have a role in another book too, as we all do. The one where my own Little People curl up and read the story of their beginnings and their belonging.

Although I may object in principle to the way the new plot-line challenges my expectations as a reader, as a child, I am still in love with the people who walk the pages and have done for generations before I came along.

And you, Pip, are one of the stars.

I have never found a Father's Day card that says the right words.

None of them carry a mention about Night Night, Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite.

They don't thank you for taking me fishing untangling my line and baiting my hook.

For rides on your motorbike, perched in front of you on the hot fuel tank.

For camping trips to Mana Pools, a love of the ridiculous and, incredibly dear to me, that wicked slant of humour, always ready for a chuckle. For being Father Christmas, for teaching me to lay a fire and for accepting and loving my choice of husband.

For drawing us funny cartoons, making me laugh with the silly rhymes that come to your tongue so fluidly. For cups of tea in front of the cricket, for delicious meals and recipe sharing.

For steady problem solving, open arms and generosity.

For the years and years of sharing the gift of yourself with us and giving me grandparents who delighted my growing years with the kind of legacy that will trickle on and on.

For being a jolly grandad who tickles and laughs with his grandaughters.

And for the gift of a family that I am priviledged to be a part of.

It matters not to me what Life unfolds in the Story.

Although I am growing older on the outside, to the Little Me, you are the fanciful one who is perched on my art-table, exploring the space where my creativity and childhood meet.

Happy Father's Day Dad.

Photo taken of me and my Dad in 1978, just before he left on active duty in the Rhodesian Armed Forces.

Jenny  – (September 5, 2010 at 2:03 PM)  

This is a really beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us, your readers.

Simoney  – (September 5, 2010 at 7:40 PM)  

Oh Amy.
What an amzing tribute to your dad.
What a poet you are.
I love this it gave me goosebumps.
Luve you.

Deidra  – (September 6, 2010 at 3:35 AM)  

"Loud objections to the Author have not erased the words." This is true, isn't it? And even though we object and it changes nothing, knowing this changes everything...

Your dad sounds absolutely lovely. He is truly blessed to have you.

Penny  – (September 11, 2010 at 8:20 PM)  

Beautiful post as usual Amy! Hope you are well

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