In honor of Father’s Day a few days ago, here’s something silly I found that I wrote for a class at U of I a few years ago. No matter where we go, it’s nice to remember where we came from.
“Saraaaahhh…Saraaaaaaahhhhh get up here!” I think my heart skipped a beat, because I literally thought something catastrophic was happening in my kitchen. I ran up the basement stairs, skipping steps in an attempt to gain full speed… to find my dad hunched over, gasping for air as he tried to fight off an intense case of laughter. “Are you serious?” was all I could think to myself.
My dad inherited a trait directly from my grandpa, in the sense that he is in a constant battle with the little fur balls in the backyard that we like to call squirrels. It was as if this very moment, when I found him uncontrollably laughing in the kitchen, was a victory that he had been working towards for much of his adult life. It was only a few months earlier when we stood in some store that sold all sorts of garden accessories, that happened to sell squirrel-proof birdfeeders. I stood there in annoyance, as my dad held that birdfeeder in his hand with a smirk on his face as if he were a seven year old kid plotting something that could only lead to trouble.
Every other squirrel-proof feeder in our yard had failed him. This particular feeder was his only hope. It was battery powered. When a squirrel landed on it, it began spinning in circles, causing the squirrel to go with it, its flailing body flying endlessly around the feeder until it figured out that it should let go. I swear that once we owned that bird feeder, my dad was more motivated than ever to do the dishes, just so he could stare out the kitchen window and wait for this moment to happen. Now it finally had.
I’ve just come to accept my dad’s weirdness. I don’t say that in a mean way, because I don’t know many people that don’t think their parents are awkward in some shape or form. My dad may have this strange obsession with squirrels, but it just makes him who he is. Yet it’s still slightly embarrassing, and the squirrel obsession is far from the only thing that contributes to this aspect of his personality.
I know a few people that laugh at the fact that their mom or dad can’t seem to figure out how to text message, let alone become hip to most types of technology. My dad is very hip with technology. So hip, in fact, that from time to time I receive text messages from him that say “sup.” And that’s it. It was funny the first time, until I started realizing that this might not be a joke.
If “sup” isn’t bad enough, he does the “fist pump”- that thing that people do, when they hold out their fist, and the other person touches their fist to it. Parents are not supposed to do this to their kids. One time, I had a banana in my hand, and he took it as far as saying “Hey Sarah, peel me,” as he held out his fist. Then he laughed for what seemed like five minutes at his own joke while my brother and I stared in horror.
Yes, it’s embarrassing. It also always makes a great story later. If I took every embarrassing aspect away from my dad, he wouldn’t be the dad I’ve come to know and love over the course of my life. My only issue is the way I’ve heard people say that it is easier than you think to turn out like your parents, whether you may like it or not. No matter what happens, I will not have a spinning squirrel bird feeder in my back yard someday.