This is another story from my brother. So, he calls me up the other day and I know I’m in for it when he starts out by saying, “I never used to understand how Dad would disappear into the john with a paper and just be there…but now I do.”
Hard to say where these conversations are going to lead, and often times it requires making sure no one is listening in. In this case, though, it wasn’t so bad.
Seems he was astride the throne, publication in hand, being the lord and king of his eliminatory domain, when he hears his oldest daughter shouting out his name. Shrieking it. Screaming. DADDY!!!!
He does, of course, what all experienced parents do: he ignores her for as long as he can, until it becomes clear that the shouting won’t stop until he responds.
“I love you, Daddy.”
Trump card played and now the silence is on my brother’s end. Eventually, he recovers well enough to guiltily reply.
“I love you, too, sweetie.”
He doesn’t cheat himself in the throne room, but it isn’t the same after that. Not really.
Some time later he heads downstairs to see his little angel, in the kitchen, working on a homework assignment. This is exactly the sort of thing he prefers to ignore on his way to the refrigerator for a beer. But now, after the earlier incident, he decides to take a peek.
Her assignment for the evening, he sees, is to “Do Something Nice for Someone Else.” Below the title are several blanks where his daughter can fill in a description of what she has done. The first blank has been filled in. It reads:
“Told Daddy I loved him.”
The mixture of rage, frustration, love, and exasperation is almost to rich to bear.