I grew up with three brothers, which meant I needed a barrier of sorts to protect me from the craziness that my brothers came up with. My dad was that person for me and he put up with a lot of late night requests to kill spiders and even one request to get rid of the dead squirrel that my dog dragged into the garage and wanted to play fetch with.
These gentle acts of pest control spoke worlds to me about the love my dad had for me. To this day, on Father’s day I always remember one of his acts of service in saving me from the creepy crawly things of this world.
I was about 14 years old and I’d made one of my brothers angry the night before – this wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and the horror show I found waiting for me is still one of my most vivid memories of my childhood.
My bathroom sink was filled with worms – handfuls and handfuls of worms. On my toilet seat sat a giant lumpy toad.
My brother, never one to forgive easily, had gone out in the middle of the night to find anything he could in the woods behind our house as payback. I guess I should be glad he hadn’t run across any of the snakes he liked to wrap around his neck for fun – a dangerous hobby when several of the varieties near our home were poisonous.
It may have been 4 a.m. but there was no way I was going back to bed with that mess only ten feet away from my bed. So I did the only logical thing. I woke up my dad.
No one is ever thrilled about being woken up at 4 a.m. but I don’t remember my dad speaking one word of compliant. He scooped up those worms and chased after the toad until my bathroom was critter free again.
To this day, he claims he doesn’t remember that – 4 a.m. will do that to you. But I have remembered and sometimes when life gets rough or I have a hard day with my kids, I like to remember that night. It reminds me to be patient in my love for my kids. It reminds me that they are watching the things that I do. It reminds me that in everything I do each day, I am showing them all the ways that I love them.
What is your favorite memory of your dad?