Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hero

My mom likes to tell this story of the day I was born.

After she delivered me the nurse wrapped me up and handed me over to my mom. I looked at her, right in the eye, and screamed. Screamed like my life was being ripped from my body; screamed as though I was looking evil right in the face and wanted nothing to do with it.

She was heartbroken, my mom, having just squeezed me out of her pee-pee (her favourite phrase to make me all oogy) and I hated her. She didn't understand why or how, but her baby, the brand new little person who was supposed to make all the pain go away, hated her.

She blindly handed me back to the nurse who thought maybe Dad would do better. According to the story, and this is Mom's most savoured part, I gazed adoringly at my dad, heaved several deep breaths as my cries dwindled down, and promptly feel asleep.

Mom had just done all the work, all that squeezing and I wanted nothing to do with her, favouring my father for some reason.

And that set the tone for my childhood. I don't know if there was a bigger case of hero worship than that which existed in my heart for my dad. I adored him, did everything he did. When he spit on the ground, I did the same; when he tucked his thumbs in his belt and swaggered around, so did I. When he said "fuck", I said "fuck". When he worked on his motorcycle in the driveway with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, I watched him with rapt attention. I wanted to know everything he knew.

Dad was my hero, and he could do no wrong. My mom liked to tell me that I was Dad's hero too, but I wasn't enough to make him stay around, and stay clean.

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This post is part of a series of posts about my father.

3 comments:

Carie said...

I've seen how he looks at you, and listens to you when you talk. He adores you; it's all over his proud face.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

So much of this is resonating with my own experiences with my own dad.

Addicted Rantings said...

By now I think you may have read a thing or two about my dad. And I about yours. My dad, because of his ongoing health issues has been rushed by ambulance again to his local hospital. I am off to see him now and then have dinner with my mother, and of course our fathers have something else in common as I have just recently discovered.

I also read all about Collin. It felt like my heart had stopped beating. I could see, by every word you wrote that you really love him. I am sorry. Both you and my wife share the same hobby, holding on to everything and anything that still brings you closer to the ones you’ve lost. AR

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