04 August, 2006

Candy Apple

He didn't have much growing up. His mother was a doctor but she was the kind who took chickens and old books for payment. So my dad did everything he could to make sure his kids had everything a kid was supposed to have. He made major sacrifices to do that--sacrifices that I'm only aware of now that I'm about the age he was at the time. And yes, that thought freaks me out. The thought that I am now how old my father was when he sent me to Kindergarten. I cry a little bit for the kids I'm not sending to kindergarten now and for the realisation of just how young my wise old father really was when I thought he was so old.

My parents decided against Barbie dolls (too sexist and too expensive to accessorise) but agreed that you got a 10-speed bike when you were 10. With four kids there were always those types of rules. Birthday parties every 5 years; pop for dinner with pizza, lasagne and tacos but water for everything else. So 10 was a big year, because I got the bike AND the big party. I don't remember the big party so well, but I remember shopping for the bike. The only thing I was certain of was that I wanted "blue paint, but the kind with sparkles in it."

"That's called a candy-apple finish" my dad said.

And right then, when I was 9, my dad was my hero. He knew what I meant, and knew there was a name for it. And I knew he'd get it for me. Not the bike, but the colour of the bike. He knew that a candy-apple finish meant a lot to me so he was going to get that colour of a bike if it was the last thing he did. Some guys might think "she's getting a bike. Who cares if it's got red matte paint?" Not my dad.

I just now came across the words "candy-apple red" in a book I'm reading, and I was hard-hit by the feeling of safety and love I got from my dad twenty-six years ago when he knew about candy-apple finish and how important sparkles are to little girls.


At 1:40 PM, August 04, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

:::sniffle:::: That was beautiful, Kat.

My dad, too, *knew what I meant* on a lot of things.

Thank you for making my day a little bit more beautiful, Kat.

At 1:54 PM, August 04, 2006, Blogger John H said...

Wow, Kat..this is powerful...and so well written.

At 2:21 PM, August 04, 2006, Anonymous JJ said...

Isn't it awesome having a great dad? I have so many friends who didn't.

At 2:24 PM, August 04, 2006, Blogger jag said...

Daddies have the opportunity to be the most important people in the world. I'm glad your dad took his.

I love it when you write about him. These are some of your best posts.

At 11:40 PM, August 04, 2006, Blogger grandefille said...

Thank you, darlin'. Thank you for your gift.

You know, my niece has a daddy like yours. And mine. I'm proud for her. (Especially since her granddaddy isn't here to ruin her like he did me and her mom. Hee.)

Hugs to you. And good healing thoughts your way as your ordeal begins.

At 8:36 AM, August 05, 2006, Anonymous tom said...

That was a good post. I think they softened on Barbies, though. I remember Miss B had just one or two so that she could play with that Rachel girl.

I remember it so well because I used it in 10th grade for a skit in Bible class about the great prostitute in Revelations. It got a huge laugh.

At 1:55 PM, August 05, 2006, Blogger newscoma said...

That was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

At 10:28 PM, August 05, 2006, Anonymous Sis said...

Great post. I love the way you captured the way Dad just KNEW things and the way he made things happen for us. I know this post will mean a lot to him.

By the way, I did have a few Barbies, but they were purchased with saved up allowance. Mom and Dad let me buy them because they were big with my friends and M&D didn't want me to feel left out.


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