|This is us at my graduation. His leg gave out. Apparently.|
My Dad may impersonate me on a daily basis, for some reason, sometimes as soon as he steps in the door but he also has a massive heart. When I had my heart broken by my first real love he came back on his lunch break just to see how I was, he didn’t find me sobbing and struggling to breathe awkward, instead he put on the kettle and cried with me. He is the one that rescued me from climbing frames and trees when I was younger and felt brave, before freezing when I realised I wasn’t brave at all. He was also the one that brushed my teeth every night when I was little, and made me and my brother’s shields and swords. When I was about seven I noticed that I had a tick on my stomach, from one of those fun camping holidays I can only assume. Dave listened patiently to me and managed not to laugh in my face when I voiced my concerns that I was turning into a cat.
Then of course there was the rough and tumble Dave, the one that made a game of swinging us from the bannisters by our hands…it sounds like child abuse when I write that and read that back, but it really was fun and obviously we trusted him not to drop us…although when I was old enough to realise he COULD drop us I did stop playing. He used to let us sit on his lap and ‘drive’ around Sainsbury’s car park, again something I did enjoy doing until a police car arrived in the car park for a completely unrelated incident and Dave told me they were here to arrest me. Again, I stopped playing after that.
For my Mum I imagine that it was like having four young children instead of three because he joined in on our games and found ways to really annoy her. We formulated a game which involves my Mum on the phone for hours and us seeking her attention, so we asked her random questions, taking it in turns and following her around the house when she tried to avoid us. Questions would involve things like this,
“Muuuum? Do you love me more than anyone else?” “Yes, of course”.
“Muuuuum? Am I your favourite?” “No…no…god no”.
Dave found it probably even more hilarious than we did, but probably because he was involved and we weren’t against him.
I remember in school we had a homework assignment where we had to write about our hero. I panicked. I really didn’t consider the spice girls my heroes, and as much as I enjoyed the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air he wasn’t worthy either. I was always a goody two shoes and I wanted to do well and get a good mark, so I wrote about my Dad. As predicted the teacher loved it, it was cute and I got a good mark. I didn’t want to admit that he was a substitute because I didn’t have anyone else to write about, but maybe subconsciously the nine year old me had it all figured out.